The finale of the V Republic-wide Young Forester Contest “Let’s protect the forests!” featured 62 ecological projects. They covered activities of the young forester groups, observation of flora and fauna, protection of natural monuments, and study of human impact on the forests.
The two-month event supported by the Republican Center of Ecological Education and Practice (RCEEP) under the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan will be remembered by the impressive ideas and interesting solutions revealing the clear progress the Azerbaijani youth has achieved since the launch of the young forester contest in 2011.
Through May-June, the schoolchildren of V-XI grades, majority of them members of the FLEG II-backed school-based young foresters’ groups, tested the knowledge in 3 nominations: forest ecology and sustainable management; forest flora; forest fauna.
“We put a lot of energy in our everyday work to protect the local forestland and to minimize the human impact on our “green” treasure”, said students of 9th grade from Ismayilli secondary school.
“Now we believe that groups of people sharing similar values and promoting similar ideas are able to bring about the change!” was the conclusion of the most active young foresters from Gakh secondary school #3.
After the successful conduction of the first young foresters summer camp “Gakh-2015” in August 2014, the young forester group from the local school #3 became the role model for environmentally aware youth in Azerbaijan. So are the young foresters groups from Ismayilli and Shamakha districts. This year ecological projects by the students from 4 more districts, Ganja, Shaki, Goranboy and Jalilabad have been highlighted by the jury.
“We witness the growing popularity of young forester movement across the country, we witness the increased awareness among the youth about the importance to protect the forests for the future generations”, said FLEG II Country Coordinator Azer Garayev. “They do not only talk about ideas, they propose solutions”.
The winners were awarded with diplomas and certificates by the RCEEP. Holders of the first place will traditionally participate in the next International Forest Junior Contest in Russia this fall.