The final stage of the 11th All-Russian Junior Forestry Competition “Podrost” was held near Moscow in Pushkin, from 12 to 16 May 2014. Of those implementing the regional FLEG II Program activities, representatives of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Moldova attended the competition this year.
The main purpose of the competition is to support the Russian schools initiative by enhancing the knowledge of forestry, in methods for the protection and handling of forests, and continuity of generations in ecological and forestry education spheres.
At the round table of the Arkhangelsk forestry forum (2 – 4 April 2014), Deputy Head of the Federal Forestry Agency (Rosleskhoz) and FLEG II Program Focal Point in Russia, A. Panfilov invited his colleagues from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Moldova to nominate representatives of their countries to take part in the Russian competition activities. He also invited them to the conference with school forestry leaders to discuss the progress in their countries.
142 participants from 46 regions of Russia and CIS counties took part in the competition final. Traditionally, older school children take part in the Junior Forestry competition “Podrost”. They are school forestry members, developing projects in such sectors as nature conservation, forestry, and environmental education. Heads of school forestry also enter this competition.
The closing ceremony of the event was on the 16th of May, when the competition judges announced the winners. The details of the competition “Podrost 2014” can be seen here: http://www.rosleshoz.gov.ru/media/news/1929
The event took place with the support of Federal Forestry Agency, along with Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Forestry Committee of the Moscow Region
FLEG Program and school forestry
The main regional activity of the Country work plan for 2013- 2016 for Russian Federation is indicated as 5.1.2. “Improve the work with school children”. The regional plan of the Program also includes activity № 11, “Increasing networking and capacity building of the young generation in the ENPI East Countries FLEG II through further development of young foresters’ union (e.g. organization of international summer camps, workshops and trainings) and supporting young forester’s units”. At the moment, school forestry and young foresters projects are being developed in Belarus, Azerbaijan and Russia, and other counties participating in the Program are gradually learning from them.
During the conference conducted within “Podrost 2014”, the guest of the Republic of Belarus, A. Vasilenko, chief forester of the Gomel State Forestry Production Organization (GPLHO), spoke about the establishment of school forestry and its regulatory support. The annual Republican Junior Forest Contest "Квiтней, мой лес!" takes place in this country. The purpose of the event - to support the work of school forestry, promote the profession of forester, pay attention to the problems of ecology and the conservation of natural resources.
The Republic of Azerbaijan (RA) also develops movements of young foresters. Specialist G. Shafieva (Ilisuinsky State Nature Reserve) shared the experience of the environmental center "Friends of Forest” in Azerbaijan. The republic regularly takes part in the contest for young foresters, "Save the forest! ". The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan supports this initiative. With its help, the country held two national competitions. The contest winners, high school students, have participated in international events, such as the Junior Forestry competition, which was held in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) in September 2013.
The FLEG II Program consultant for the World Bank, Andrei Grigoriev, made a report on "Information on the activities of school forestry on the Internet". He highlighted the challenge of coverage of school forestry activities in cyberspace as irregular updates, and updates that do not appeal to the user's interest. The expert stressed that it is important to speak the same language as and use tools familiar to young audiences.