“Empowering youth for nature interpretation” project

The “Empowering Youth for Nature Interpretation” project is a follow-up of the previous EMM cooperation with the US Forest Service International Programs, the “Local youth – The Voice for the Sustainable Promotion of the ‘Orheiul Vechi’ cultural-natural Reserve” project implemented in 2018 and the “EMPOWERING ECO-EDUCATION. Skills and Experiences for Nature Interpretation” project implemented in 2019. All three projects are building towards the long-term goal: based within the project’s pilot zone of Orhei National Park (including the Orheiul Vechi cultural-natural Reserve), to create a model of involving the youth community in nature interpretation and conservation activities.

PROJECT GOAL: to create based on the Orhei National Park area a model of involving the youth community in nature interpretation and conservation activities.

Objective 1: Carrying out creative-educational activities on nature interpretation in the area of the Orhei National Park;

Objective 2: Providing support for the involvement of youth from the Orhei National Park area in the implementation of five service projects;

Objective 3: Providing the framework for signage of a hiking and biking trail in the area of Orhei National Park according to the recommendations agreed with Moldsilva State Agency (Moldova Forestry Service);

Objective 4: Increase visibility of the Orhei National Park in mass media of regional and national level.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

1. Creative educational activities

1.1  Online course on nature interpretation.

An online course on nature interpretation will be held for students from the area of the Orhei National Park area in order to rise their knowledge about the biodiversity value of the area as well as to give them the opportunity to acquire new skills on nature interpretation. This course will also help youth to be better prepared for  the art contest to be announced within the project.

1.2 Art contest “Young ambassadors of the Orheiul Vechi Reserve”, nature drawing category – individual work.

Following the nature interpretation course EMM will announce the art contest “Young ambassadors of the Orheiul Vechi Reserve” – nature drawing category. Pupils aged 11-16 years old will be invited to draw by one art work (drawings/paintings, A3 format) representing the nature of the Orheiul Vechi Reserve. Authors of the best 10 artworks will receive awards.

1.3 Art contest “Young ambassadors of the Orheiul Vechi Reserve”, media campaign category – group work (up to 10 pupils).

Youth groups aged 14-18 years old (e.g. non-formal youth clubs) will be invited to do a media campaign in order to promote the natural heritage of the Orheiul Vechi Reserve. The campaign will have to include key messages, podcasts, videos, posts on social media, articles, radio.

1.4 Art contests awards ceremony.

Following the selection of the best drawings/paintings and media campaign, an awards ceremony will be organized in order to present the results of the art contest and to hand out prizes to the “Young ambassadors of the Orheiul Vechi Reserve”.

2. Support for service projects

2.1. Service projects small grants scheme.

Within the project, a grant competition will be announced for schools, school clubs, youth centers, and public associations from local communities in the area and from the proximate surroundings of the Orhei National Park that have project ideas meant to contribute to the nature conservation activities in their locality. Awarding of grants will be ranging from $1,000.00 up to $3,000.00 for activities such as events (conferences/symposiums/exhibitions of regional impact); planting trees; trail building (path cleaning, cleaning springs, signage); research and monitoring of the biodiversity and creation of promotional materials related to nature conservation.

2.2 Service projects sharing experience seminar.

All members of the implementation team as well as most active participants of the 5 service projects will be invited to a final event in order to share experience about the implementation process of their service projects, their achievements, and other project ideas.

3. Trail signage activities

3.1. Development of guidelines on trail signage in the Orhei National Park.

In order to stimulate the process of trail building in the Orhei National Park, we plan the elaboration of guidelines on trail signage in the Orhei National Park to serve as model for stakeholders (public institutions, education institutions or private persons) who would be interested in investing in trail signage and maintenance in this area as well as in other protected areas.

3.2 Seminar on trail signage guidelines.

A public event will be organized in order to present the Guidelines to interested stakeholders (regional state forestry institutions, travel agencies, and consecionaires of the forest fund in the Orhei National Park area).

3.3 Maintenance and trail signage expedition.

A group of youth from the Orhei National Park area will be invited to attend an expedition in order to do maintenance work and adjustment of the Curchi-Donici trail signage according to the developed guidelines.

4. Visibility and promotional activities

4.1 Mass-media campaign

In order to make visible the project’s activities there will be used the following mass media channels: print press (editing, printing and distribution of one special edition-two pages, A3 format, full color- in the NATURA magazine, national coverage, 6000 subscribers, 30000 readers);  online press (writing and distribution of eight articles about project’s activity);  radio (three radio programs at local and national level about the project in general and about the particular results of the project); social media.

Implementation period:July 2020 – December 2021

Donnor: US Forest Service

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