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Volunteer initiative development


Being in fact a global civil initiative, volunteer movement is widespread in many European countries. The realization that voluntary conservation activity is one of available constructive ways to improve quality of life of the society is growing in today's Russia. The state of the environment has always been an important indicator of the society's well-being. But what stands in the way of Russia's green movement is poor ecological education, lack of comprehensive information platform resulting in uncoordinated activity of conservation NGOs, cultivation of consumer ideals and disbelief in one's power to combat natural disasters and improve ecological situation.

"I think it's essential to give each person a chance to take up responsibility for the state of the planet and do something useful and constructive for its benefit, - says program coordinator Galina Sago. - Even a little action is better than nothing! And little actions taken by thousands of people can work a miracle! - everyone has to realize this. Developing such an attitude is crucial for Russian society that yet has no habit of thinking positively".

Taking into consideration all the aforesaid the BCC has outlined several tasks to be fulfilled in the course of the project:

  • involving volunteers - students of secondary schools, universities and just sympathetic people into projects and events run by the BCC ("March for Parks", "Oaks of Eurasia", "Adopt a Sanctuary", etc.) and other environmental NGOs;
  • cooperation with Specially Protected Natural Areas - rending them volunteer help, conducting restoration and sanitation work, etc;
  • publication of an on-line bulletin for green activists and conservation agencies to stir up exchange of ideas, experience, advice, unite their efforts and provide instant communication;
  • organization of seminars and training courses in order to raise level of volunteers' professional skills;
  • publication of articles in newspapers and magazines to raise environmental awareness in citizens and enhance the attractiveness of volunteer movement.

Within the framework of the program professional contacts with the following ecological organizations were established: "Friends of Losiny Ostrov" club, Nature Protection Corps, "Zapovedniki" ecological center, Department of ecological education "Kuzminki", Greenpeace Russia, International Socio-Ecological Union (ISEU)These organizations are already actively collaborating in the field of conservancy volunteer movement development.

Currently the participants of the project are engaged in preparing the first issue of the bulletin "Volunteer-Info". Information they are collecting include data on:

  • seminars and training sessions on working with volunteers;
  • ecological organizations collaborating with volunteers;
  • educational establishments of Moscow that could be involved
 

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