In 2011, in the frame of “International Year of Forests” declared by UN, many individuals, governmental and non-governmental organizations (including Young Biologists Association NGO) implemented multiple celebrations and actions for sustainable forest management, related environmental education, aiming to raise public awareness about forests and importance of their conservation. Young Biologists Association NGO (YBA) as a continuation of their activities in 2012 realized an environmental campaign “Explore Armenian Forests” directed to raise environmental awareness of young people about fauna and flora of Armenian forests and their conservation needs.
During the campaign theoretical and practical classes were organized in the forest areas of different Armenian regions as well as published and distributed informative materials including posters, booklets about forest biodiversity. The open call for participation was announced via web site of Young Biologists Association (www.yba.am) and partner organizations, informational resources, press releases and social networks (facebook, twitter etc.).
Around 362 applications were registered from different regions of Armenia. 75 participants had been selected taking into account geographical distribution, professional interests and social activities. Participants had 18-40 years old and most of them where not biologists, ecologists or of related professions. Classes consisted of seminars and fieldworks. During the seminars trainers were presenting the reach biodiversity of Armenian forests through interesting and attractive slide shows, explaining also how to recognize different animals and plants in a wild. The slides included also information on the important role of forest ecosystem and needness of its conservation. During the second part of trainings participants strengthened their knowledge visiting the forest areas of Armenia. Trainers helped participants to identify different species of fauna and flora and explore the nature. The effectiveness of the trainings was counted via questionnaires. The trainers were young researcher working at Yerevan State University, Institutes of National Academy of Science and members of YBA Biodiversity Conservation and Research Group. The participation on trainings was free and all expenses were covered by the project “Explore Armenian Forests” environmental campaign financed by Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, RA. All participants received t-shirts with the logotype of the campaign as well as informational booklets and posters The facebook page called “Explore Armenian Forests” was created by organizers for distribution of useful and interesting information on forest conservation issues and activities.
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