«URA Grodno!» — a local environmental initiative uniting thousands of people in respecting nature

Environmental initiative «URA Grodno!» works 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 continuity of environmental education at all stages: from preschool institutions to institutions of primary, secondary and higher education. One step to this goal is an organisation of The educational multicenter “URA Grodno” on the base of Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno, the Secondary School No. 12 and the Nursery Garden No. 45 in Grodno. Various educational events are held by the multicenter, including open lectures, laboratory workshops, a summer session of ecological and health camp for students.

The second goal of the initiative «URA Grodno!» is formation of the local community and civic engagement in environmental monitoring. For this purpose, an environmental monitoring laboratory was created on the basis of Grodno State University. It is the place, where schoolchildren and students learn to assess the quality of air and water by quantitative indicators.

At the beginning of its work in September 2019, the initiative «URA Grodno!» conducted an open questionnaire, 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 educational activities by the initiative. In addition, the survey questions helped the participants to identify their own potential for caring for nature through changing daily habits. In June 2020 a repeated survey 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 “URA Grodno!” initiative.

By the year over 25 information and training events involved more than 3,000 people in environmental monitoring and a nature-friendly lifestyle.

In the course of the «Clean Business» campaign, at least 9 ecological landings were organized to clean up forests in the suburbs and city limits. Experience gained in joint work on cleaning the environment from household waste. 2 excursions to the waste processing plant 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.

The results of these and other events involving Grodno residents in an ecologically ethical lifestyle were demonstrated during the Environmental Initiatives Forum, which was attended by teachers, students, NGO specialists, volunteers and representatives of the local community — more than 300 people in total. About 200 more representatives of ecological communities participated remotely.

More about the Forum «Grodno: Together on the Path of Sustainable Development»:

Online conference

From July 18 to 22, 2020 the ESD Association organized a summer methodological school with support of the “URA Grodno” multicenter. The event was attended by 25 employees of educational institutions in Grodno, including school directors and heads of kindergartens. Forms and directions of cooperation of 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 series of methodological materials were presented. In addition, at least 100 residents of Grodno got acquainted with the practices and prospects of an environmentally friendly lifestyle within the open day.

Environmental initiative «Inclusive environmental management by motivated inclusion of Grodno residents in the development and implementation of measures aimed at improving the quality of the environment and monitoring environmental risks, in the context of the educational multicenter for comprehensive support of 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 with the support of the project “Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the UN Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

Photos are provided by the initiative «URA Grodno!»

Young ecologists participating in the Green Schools educational project from different parts of Belarus will receive the necessary modern equipment for their research.

June 5 marks World Environment Day, a professional holiday for all environmentalists, environmentalists, public figures and environmental activists, and of course those involved in the Green Schools educational project.
In 2020, under the project “Involving the public in environmental monitoring and improving environmental governance at the local level”, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources, support for green schools continues.
To ensure a high level of educational activities for resource centers of green schools and environmental monitoring clubs based on green schools (13 institutions in total), the most necessary modern equipment was purchased that will allow young ecologists to conduct their research.
It is symbolic that on the eve of the holiday, World Environment Day, educational institutions will receive digital cameras, binoculars, microscopes, telescopes, digital wattmeters, magnifiers, Petri dishes and other accessories for exciting activities that will help young ecologists grow up as real conservationists.
“Green schools” is an environmental movement that is developing in the world and in Belarus. In order to bring the «environmental» consciousness of people to a new level, you need to start with the young generation, experts are sure. The proof that they are right is the fact that the movement is increasingly popular, and today children are becoming environmental information guides and opinion leaders. In Belarus, students of “green schools” involve friends and parents in their circle of interests, pass on to them knowledge acquired in the school about separate waste collection, saving water and energy, etc.
The development and implementation of the Green Schools educational project in Belarus was made possible thanks to the joint efforts of the European Union, UNDP, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Education. The peculiarity of the Green Schools educational project in Belarus is that it includes six (five for preschool institutions) clearly defined areas with a set of tasks developed taking into account environmental problems and issues that are being addressed in our country. Only by completing these tasks can an educational institution receive a green diploma.
At the end of 2019, 57 educational institutions from all regions of the Republic of Belarus received the status of a “green” school; in total, more than 200 educational institutions participated in the educational project.

A special issue of the journal «Native Nature», dedicated to the development of the educational project «Green Schools» in Belarus, was released.

The issue has already been delivered to subscribers of the publication, as well as to printing kiosks across the country.
The material covers the history of the project in Belarus, talks about national characteristics, advantages for educational institutions, prospects and results.
Since 2011, the Green Schools project has been successfully developing and is already covering pre-school educational institutions, as well as preparing to repeat summer green shifts for young ecologists in health camps in Belarus.
The main educational directions of the project:
— biodiversity
— water saving
— energy saving
— waste management
— monitoring of atmospheric air
— environmental information activities to work with local communities.

The issue can be downloaded from «Library» of this website.

530 liters of hand sanitizer and 126 disinfectant dispensers were purchased within the project for 24 pilot sites implementing the Green Schools educational project.

Hand cleanliness is one of the most important conditions that must be observed to reduce the risk of contracting viral infections.  530 liters of hand sanitizer and 126 disinfectant dispensers were purchased within the project with EU funds for 24 pilot sites implementing the Green Schools educational project throughout Belarus.

 

 

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, distance education is becoming increasingly important. It is really crucial to provide means of communication and high-quality Internet. This is especially true for educational institutions located in the regions. For EU funds, 8 modern stationary computers have already been purchased and delivered to educational institutions — Project partners, and in the near future 10 more laptops are expected to be delivered.

 

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On May 13-14, 2020, an on-line conference was held as part of the open city Forum of Environmental Ideas “Grodno: Together along the Path of Sustainable Development” on the Cisco Webex Meetings platform. 34 institutions connected, with one to 15 people at the monitor

The online format is the most appropriate way to conduct events in the context of a pandemic of the new coronavirus. In addition, due to the holding of the conference in this format, part of the funds freed up within the framework of the initiative, which were allocated by the State University to purchase means of protection against viral infections for the partners of the initiative.

The Forum of Environmental Ideas is one of the events implemented by the environmental initiative “URA Grodno!” and implemented by the Yanka Kupala Grodno State University in the framework of the Project.
The purpose of the Forum is to attract the public to the development and implementation of measures aimed at improving the quality of the environment, popularization of the environmental initiative «URA Grodno!» in the local community.
Forum Objectives:
1. Development of partnerships and the establishment of long-term cooperation between Grodno residents within the framework of the environmental initiative “URA Grodno!”;
2. Creation of educational and creative interaction of Grodno residents on the development and implementation of measures aimed at improving the quality of the environment;
3. Identification, presentation and synthesis of best public environmental practices in the city of Grodno and the Grodno region;
4. Holding an exhibition-competition of methodological developments in the field of environmental education and an environmentally friendly lifestyle, as well as creative works of students of educational institutions of the city of Grodno and the Grodno region.
The Forum participants were teachers and students of educational institutions of the city of Grodno and the Grodno region, representatives of environmental public associations; specialists working in the field of organizing work with youth in educational institutions.
The final on-line conference of the Forum presents the best developments in the field of environmental education in the nominations «Methodological developments» and «Description of the system of work on the formation of an environmentally friendly lifestyle.» In total, over 230 works were submitted to the competition (˃60 designs, ˃170 creative works, including drawings, posters, leaflets, comics, ecological fairy tales, poems and videos)

Conference Organizer:
 Kremleva Olga Evgenievna, associate professor of the Department of Ecology, head of the environmental initiative «URA Grodno!»,
 Bogdan Galina Anatolyevna, teacher, project coordinator of the State Educational Institution “Secondary School No. 12 of Grodno”, manager of the environmental initiative “URA Grodno!”,
 Zhishko Tatyana Aleksandrovna, chief specialist of the education department of the Grodno city executive committee.

Ecological initiative of the Yanka Kupala State University of Moscow: “Inclusive environmental management by motivating the inclusion of residents of the city of Grodno in the development and implementation of measures aimed at improving the quality of the environment and monitoring environmental risks, in the context of an educational multicenter of comprehensive support for an environmentally friendly lifestyle of local communities» URA- Grodno! ”

 

 

 

 

 

Local environmental initiatives have also joined efforts to counter the spread of viral infections

Local environmental initiatives have also joined efforts to counter the spread of viral infections in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and, through EU funds, have purchased and donated personal protective equipment to support educational institutions and persons with disabilities. So, 1200 medical masks with a certificate of conformity were purchased by the Slavgorod Vozrozhdenie-Agro fund and distributed there among local partners. Ecological initiative “URA Grodno!” handed over to its participants and partners 500 masks to ensure the prevention of COVID-19. As part of the environmental initiative “Adaptation to the conditions of climatic changes in the production of animal feeds, which reduce the negative impact on the environment”, carried out by the Grodno Regional Association of Farmers, 1000 masks, 200 medical caps, 100 medical gowns and 40 liters of antiseptics were purchased. All this was transferred to the partners of the initiative, the Krevsky rural executive committee and the farms located on its territory.

 

 

Information materials on the prevention of viral infections were delivered to the Project partners in the regions of Belarus.

1,400 posters and 9,000 booklets on measures to prevent viral infections, prepared on the basis of materials provided by UNICEF in Belarus, have already been received and distributed in the regions of Belarus among educational institutions — partners of the Project. 600 posters and 6,000 booklets were also distributed for distribution to the Vitebsk branch of the Belarusian Red Cross

 

 

Disinfectants have already been transferred throughout Belarus to all 24 pilot sites for the implementation of the Green Schools educational project .

Disinfectants have already been transferred to 24 pilot sites for the implementation of the Green Schools educational project throughout Belarus. This will help educational institutions make their work safer in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. 1300 liters of disinfectants were purchased and transferred to 24 pilot sites for the implementation of the Green Schools educational project as part of the project “»Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Level”, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources resources and environmental protection of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus.

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1300 liters of disinfectants have been purchased and are being transferred to 24 pilot sites in the coming days for the implementation of the Green Schools educational project

During a coronavirus pandemic, it is important to provide specific support to educational institutions. 1300 liters of disinfectants have been purchased and are being transferred to 24 pilot sites in the coming days for the implementation of the Green Schools educational project implemented with the support of the project “Civic Engagement in Environmental Monitoring and Improving Environmental Management at the Local Levell”, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.