United Nations Award-Winner, International Nature School, an education program organized by Nature Society, was held for the fifth time this year and brought together fifteen young students from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. Open to those undergraduates and final year’ undergraduates who wish to take an active part in the conservation of nature and to improve their understanding on natural world, and to apply for participating free-of-charge, Nature School started in Sarıkamış Çamkar Hotel in Kars, in cooperation and hosting of KuzeyDoğa Society on 26 October 2009. Four Azerbaijani, three Armenian, four Georgian, and four Turkish students will participate in the 5th semester of Nature School that provides the youth in search of taking an active part in conservation efforts with experiences, and that aims at establishing a human resource in this field for the sake of effectively preserving the environment of Turkey and Caucasia Biodiversity hotspot.
To be organized in two one-week’ sections, Nature School will start with fundamental ecology and biology knowledge and end with the subjects of problem analysis and sustainable solutions. Able to provide the young ones with the on-site opportunity to see the nature-related problems and their solutions and to gain experiences through the lectures of different experts, Nature School will also play a significant part in the fulfillment of the lack of human resources regarding the nature conservation in the participating countries.
In Nature School, for which admissions are free-of-charge, the young individuals from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Turkey will be educated in Kars and Rize in the form of two modules as fieldworks and interactive events.
During the initial 4 days of the education, which will last 6 days, the students will be lectured by experts in many subjects varying from general ecology to the geology of Caucasia, from the biogeography of the Caucasian area to the analysis of utilization of natural lands, and they will visit the important natural areas of the province of Kars during the remaining two days. Nature school participants will on the first day of the fieldworks visit Sarıkamış Forests and Allahuekber Mountains, an important natural region, and on the second day, will go to the Lake Kuyucuk, Turkey’s 13th East Anatolia’s first and unique RAMSAR area, selected by the European Commission as European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) in 2009, around which fieldworks are carried out by KuzeyDoğa Society.
By now, 75 young nature conservationists have graduated from blue-roofed, green walled, Nature School that provides, in addition to the theoretical information, practices focused on “learning by experiencing”. A significant portion of the Nature School graduates are actively working for many nature conservation institutions such as TEMA, WWF Turkey, Nature Society, Ege Natural Life Conservation Society and KuzeyDoğa Society. Thanks to the newly graduates, Nature School, which has come to be an international institution, will contribute to conservation of not only Turkey’s nature but of Caucasian Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the most important 34 hotspots of the world.