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Mongun-Taiga ecologists take part in convention of friends of WWF

Mongun-Taiga ecologists take part in convention of friends of WWFThe first convention of Clubs of Friends of WWF - regional ecological associations of adults and children, working under the aegis of WWF for protection of nature just concluded on 10 July at lake Teletskoye (republic Altai).

For the first time participants from Mongun-taiga kozhuun of Tuva  joined the eco-movement of Clubs of Friends of WWF. Schoolchildren and teachers from middle school No.1 of Mugur-Aksy traveled several hundred kilometers over a mountain pass to share their experience of organizing eco-education as children's ecology club "Rostok".

Mongun-Taiga is the very heart of  snow leopard lands under special protection of WWF, and the creation of the eco-club and its active work for nature protection of Tuva is very important in Mongun-Taiga. WWF welcomes the wish of the teachers and children to join the greater world eco-movement.

Fifty-six members of twelve Clubs of Friends of WWF from Republic Altai, republic Tyva,  and Kemerovo took part in the convention. The convention was organized by WWF, Interregional public organization "Ecology club", and Altai State Natural Biospheric Preserve.

The convention was held for five days at eco-tour-center "Yurtok" (Turochak district, Republic Altai): pedagogues from Tomsk, Barnaul, and Moscow were present as instructors. Children and adults from various regions used the opportunity to exchange experiences to the full extent, to learn how their neighbors protect nature, to get new knowledge and skills, and simply to socialize face to face instead on the phone or e-mail with their colleagues.

Everybody took part in exchange of experience and work-up of new plans - the old-timers - eco-clubs of Katun preserve ("Rubikon") and Voloshina CDO from Kemerovo ("Irbis")as well as newer associations which have become members of  WWF movement only recently. As a result of the meeting with young ecologists the youth of Artybash settlement also expressed a desire to create a Club of Friends of WWF in Turochak district.

Workshops helped to learn  preparation for defense of projects, team work, organization of actions and work in the community,. The participants learned about the nature of Altai Biospheric Preserve during an excursion along lake Teletskoye.

The convention culminated in a costume action - a carnival in the streets of Artybash. Kids, separated into propaganda teams, with loudspeakers, slogans and in costumes organized a real performance in the streets, involving  residents of the village as well as vacationers, of whom there were at least 300 people. A humorous sociological questioning by the kids helped to remind all the spectators about serious ecological problems.

In the words of Elena  Knizhnikova, the head of the educational program of WWF in Russia, "The unification of the Clubs of Friends of WWF will allow more effective activities in nature protection and ecologic education in the Sayan-Altai eco-region".

As a result, the participants of the convention designed a program of further common activity and worked out three projects in protection of snow leopard, water, and pine forests

The plans are to initiate these projects in September 2011, with participation of all the Clubs of Friends of WWF of the eco-region.

Tatiana Ivanitskaya, WWF, translated by Heda Jindrak
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