School teachers of the Syktyvdin municipality in the workshop on ecological trails in Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve

In August Center of Protected Areas of the Republic of Komi organized a workshop on ecological trails and the protected areas in the Barents Region for school teachers of Syktyvdin municipality in Pechora-Ilych State Nature Reserve. The goal was to become familiar with the methodology of establishing nature trails. Besides that, teachers heard about the materials of the BPAN project (Barents Protected Area Network) that can be useful for the schools. The BPAN project promotes development of a representative network of protected areas in the Komi Republic, four other regions of northwest Russia and northern Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Teachers visiting an ecotrail. Photo: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Komi

Participants of the seminar visited ecological trails “Reserved maze”, “Swamp Goose”, the Museum of Nature and an experimental moose farm.

At the experimental moose farm. Photo: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Komi

Tatiana Tiupenko the regional coordinator of the BPAN project sees co-operation with teachers as really important way of sharing information that has been studied in international projects wider in the participating regions, so that people can get to know nature and protected areas across the national borders. ”To understand the values of nature, people should have possibility to get to nature near their homes, and that’s why we wanted to organize this workshop”, explains Tatiana.

Alexey Mosin, the deputy director on environmental education of the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve was the guide in the tours and conducted the workshop. He told about the history of the establishment of the most interesting stops on the eco-trails. At the end of the workshop, teachers presented their own projects concerning establishment and maintenance of ecological trails. On the journey back to home, they shared their experiences with friends and colleagues.

Alena Kataeva, chief specialist of the Department of Education of Syktyvdin municipality says, “I hope that the teachers in our district will develop the initiative and start establishing ecological trails in their settlements. This could solve the question how we could show the unique ecosystems for the visitors without causing any harm to nature.”

For Tatiana Dzhidzalova, director of the Yasnog school it was exciting to visit an old-growth Cladonia pine forest. “There are suchlike forests in our municipality as well. It was very exciting even for the experienced teachers to see numerous excavations made by bears. It was very interesting and, at the same time, creepy to realize that a fearsome beast had recently visited this place in search of food. On the stops on the eco-trails we listened interesting tales about fire scars on the pines, preparation of mineralized bands (sand barriers) against forest fires and about hunting of the Myrmeleon which larvae feed on ants”, summarizes Tatiana.