WWF campaign in Ukraine will raise awareness of environmental issues in the Danube Delta

Copyright © Michel Gunther / WWF-Canon

An information campaign launched by WWF in Ukraine will educate teachers and pupils in the Danube Delta about climate change, biodiversity of the region, ecological and water footprint.

The campaign "We want to live in a healthy region!" kicked off in the town of Ismail by gathering together 40 teachers who started environmental training. 

Throughout the spring the teachers will give lessons on environmental topics at their schools and will gather at additional events. They will gather again in June to present the results of their classes with the winning class taking a trip to the "0 km" of the Danube Delta. 

“We are very pleased with the participation of the selected teachers”, said Katya Kurakina, Communications Officer at WWF in Ukraine. “They are teachers of biology, natural history and environmental management from Izmail, Kiliya, Reni and Bolgrad districts, all in the heart of the Danube Delta.”

During the training, the teachers learned how to hold extra-curricular activities on environment topics, how to promote knowledge of environmental issues and how to get their pupils interested in the subject.

At the end of the training, each teacher received an information box which comprises a guide to setting up practical exercises and special events, brochures for children with information on key environmental topics, class handouts such as exercise cards with the flora and fauna of the Danube region, birdhouse building plans, origami, as well as materials for experiments, stationary and others.

The campaign materials were created by WWF in Ukraine and the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve administration. 

"There are practically no projects to develop environmental awareness of children in the region”, Kurakina said. “School curriculum contains mainly general information that is not related to a specific region. There are no practical environmental training components, school materials are often outdated, and do not contain information on new concepts, such as ecological footprint or climate change. Schools in the region cannot afford to print their own information and visual aids, to organize trips in nature, or to participate in environmental actions. Our campaign "We want to live in a healthy region!" aims to bridge these gaps."

Another component of the campaign is to organize nature cleaning events by school pupils. To aid their effort, teachers received supplies of gloves and biodegradable garbage bags “Freken Bok" donated by the "Biosphere Corporation", partner of the campaign. 

As part of the campaign, a competition for the best eco-city on the Danube will be held. During the competition, young "city planners" will be asked to submit to the jury ideas for the eco-city of their dreams. 

The campaign is part of the international project “Climate proofing the Danube Delta through integrated land and water management“. The project is implemented by WWF, the Danube Biosphere Reserve and Center for Regional Studies (Odessa). 

The project aims to prepare the Danube Delta for the impact of climate change. It brings together three countries - Ukraine, Moldova and Romania. The project is implemented with the support of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) and is financed by the ENRTP Programme of the European Commission.

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