Tuesday, 18 May 2021 17:01

"URA Grodno!" is a local environmental initiative uniting thousands of people respecting nature

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"URA Grodno!" is a local environmental initiative uniting thousands of people respecting nature

The environmental initiative "URA Grodno!" cooperates with educational institutions, students and their parents, representatives of local government and authorities and forms the local community through the development of environmental educational programs and the involvement of children and adults in environmental monitoring and active care of the world around them.


The first main goal of the initiative "URA Grodno!" is the creation of a system of environmental education continuity at all stages: from preschool institutions to institutions of primary, secondary and higher education. To achieve this goal, an educational multicenter “URA Grodno” was created with the participation of Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, the State Educational Institution Secondary School of Grodno No. 12 and the State Educational Institution Kindergarten of Grodno No. 45. On the basis of the multicenter, educational events for children and adults are held, including public lectures, laboratory workshops, an ecological shift in a summer health camp for students.

The second main goal of the initiative " URA Grodno!" is a formation of the local community and public involvement in environmental monitoring. For this purpose, an environmental monitoring laboratory was created on the basis of Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, where school students and university students learn to assess the quality of air and water by quantitative indicators.

At the beginning of the work of the initiative "URA Grodno!" in September 2019, a public questionnaire was conducted, during which 2,383 respondents described their knowledge about the impact of their habitual lifestyle on the environment. The data was used to design and deliver the educational activities of the initiative. In addition, the questions of the questionnaire helped the participants to identify their own caring potential for nature through changing their daily habits. A repeated survey in June 2020 showed an increase in citizens' awareness of environmental issues and skills to respect the world around them. These results were achieved, among other things, thanks to the active environmental and educational work of the initiative "URA Grodno!".

To involve the residents of Grodno in an environmentally friendly lifestyle, over 25 information and training events of various formats were organized and conducted during the year, in which more than 3000 people took part.

As part of the "Clean Work" campaign, at least 9 ecological landings were organized to clean up forests in the urban and suburban area. Experience in joint work on cleaning the environment from household waste was gained. 2 conducted tours to the Waste Recycling Plant of Grodno and other enterprises of the city were held.

Within the framework of the project "Energy Efficient Planet: Define Your Position", more than 1000 residents of Grodno and about 2000 students got an idea of the advantages and methods of an energy efficient lifestyle and the possibility of spending leisure time with benefit and without harm to the environment.

To demonstrate the results of these and other events and to actively involve residents of Grodno in an ecologically ethical lifestyle, the Forum of Environmental Initiatives was held, which was attended by teachers, students, NGO specialists, volunteers and representatives of the local community. There’ve been more than 300 people in total and about 200 more representatives of ecological communities participated remotely.

With the support of the «URA Grodno!» multicenter, a summer methodological school was held from July 18 to 22, 2020, organized by the Education for Sustainable Development Association. The event was attended by 25 employees of educational institutions of Grodno, including school principals and heads of kindergartens. Forms and directions of cooperation between educational institutions in the field of sustainable development and environmental protection were determined for subsequent inclusion in the Work Plan of the «URA Grodno!» multicenter for the period 2021-2025. A set of methodological materials of the project participants is presented. In addition, within the framework of the summer methodological school, the Doors Open Day was held, at which at least 100 residents of Grodno got acquainted with the practices and prospects of an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

The environmental initiative "Inclusive environmental management by inclusion of Grodno resident in the development and implementation of measures aimed at improving the quality of the environment and monitoring environmental risks in an educational multi-center of integrated support for the environmentally friendly lifestyle of local communities "URA Grodno!" (Sustainable Development - Activity of Grodno)" is carried out by the Educational Institution Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno and is implemented within the framework of the Project " Civic engagement in environmental monitoring and improving environmental management at the local level", funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in Belarus in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

Photos are provided by the initiative "URA Grodno!"

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