Parks Dinarides donated equipment for education to Skadar Lake National Park on the occasion of Dinarides Protection Day
This year's Dinarides Protection Day is marked under the slogan #EducationNow and is dedicated to the importance of education in protected areas as an important aspect of the work and functioning of these most valuable areas that every country has.
On that occasion, the Parks Dinarides donated educational equipment to the Skadar Lake National Park, which was installed in the Visitor Center in Vranjina. In order to mark this ecological date, an educational workshop for school students from Skadar Lake will be organized in this park today. The equipment was provided through the project "Protected areas for nature and people", which the Parks Dinarides are implementing in cooperation with WWF Adria, and with the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
During the last year and a half, how long the COVID-19 pandemic is taking place for now, due to the introduction of movement restrictions, protected areas have faced numerous problems and negative impacts that have hindered the functioning of the management and prevented people from visiting protected areas.
In addition to the impact on human health and life, the pandemic has brought numerous social and economic challenges that protected area managers have been struggling with for a long time now.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a very negative impact on the aspect of work and cooperation with local communities. Most regular activities, planned events, workshops and trainings, which were supposed to be organized in protected areas, were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and planned education programs in protected areas that were an important aspect of their activities were significantly reduced or completely interrupted.
Environmental education is a long-term process that aims to develop individual and collective awareness of nature conservation and protected areas. Given that we are witnessing an increasing threat to biodiversity, habitat and species damage, as well as the constant exploitation of natural resources, nature protection education is a necessary segment of education in society as a whole.
Teachers often lack the environmental knowledge and skills needed to teach in some aspects of the nature protection curriculum, so the educational role of protected areas is particularly important in educating teachers as well as students. In recent decades, the educational program has become an essential feature of the functioning of protected areas around the world, and education has become key to maintaining the overall concept of protected areas.
We are aware of the challenges posed by the pandemic, but it is now particularly important for children and youths to maintain a connection with nature. In addition to health benefits, staying in protected areas and learning about their natural and cultural heritage leads to positive changes in behavior towards nature, the attitude towards their local community.
Therefore, this year we want to draw attention to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of education programs in protected areas, but also emphasize the importance of protected areas as the right place for children and youth to gain problem solving skills, critical thinking and teamwork, skills that are necessary in the 21st century.
In that sense, we invite all subjects involved in nature protection and educational institutions to mark this year's Dinarides Protection Day in the next seven days in accordance with the possibilities, organizing various educational events, activities, workshops in cooperation with local schools or communities, in order to emphasize the importance of protected areas of our region, but also the importance of education and raising awareness of the need for nature protection.
Nature is best learned in nature, and knowledge is most valuable when shared. The concept of protected area management recognizes that continuous information and education of new generations are the greatest guarantee of preservation and survival of the value of such areas for future generations.
Therefore, #EducationNow for generations to come!