The summary of environmental educational programs
The Wildlife Foundation did much in the field of environmental education and enlightening.
The Wildlife Foundation has realized the environmental educational projects as "The amur tiger is one of the most important objects of nature conservation in the Russian Far East", "Save the amur tiger", "Conservation of the amur tiger on the Northern Limit of its Distribution". These projects were fulfilled on the territory of Khabarovsk region during the years of 1999-2000 thanks to financial support of the International Fish and Wildlife Foundation (USA), Rhinoceros and Tiger conservation Fund (USA), the Keidanren Nature conservation Fund (Japan).
In the frame work by the projects the following results were achieved:
There were conducted 6 seminars, the total number of the participants was 205.
A question connected with the participants of each seminar was carefully studied before conducting the seminars, in order not to have the casual students. The seminars were carried out just in places of a tiger habitat, therefore the participants of our seminars were local administrations, mass media, the representatives of environmental centers, hunters, specialists of hunting areas, indigenous people living in places of a tiger habitat. Among the participants of the seminars were the teachers of village schools from the remote places, who trains children, whose parents cut wood, catch animals, and together with them attend taiga. Having trained at our seminars the participants will transfer knowledge to children, and children - to parents. Many organizations basically work with the urban population. We were trying to work with people living near by a tiger. We did not invite them to arrive to the city, on the contrary, we went to them. Nowadays there is a huge deficiency of information in our region. It is connected with economic decline in our country, therefore information received at our seminars would be useful and necessary for their further work.
Nevertheless not all the participants of the seminars understand the necessity of preservation of the amur tiger. Some of them consider a tiger as their direct competitor. This causes a serious alarm and is needed to work in this direction.
As the illustrative materials we used video films and environmental literature. There were shown environmental educational films as "Who is the main in taiga?", "Taiga without tiger", "To see the tiger", "The Far Eastern ecological region" produced thanks to financial support of WWF. During the fulfillment of the projects we designed and published the books about the amur tiger:
"The amur tiger" (the English version can be found at www.wf.ru), "The pearl of the Ussuri taiga is the amur tiger" written by Y. Dunishenko and A. Kulikov.
These books were very popular among the local population, teachers and schoolchildren, because they were written by easy language and oriented to those who lives in places inhabited by tigers. The volume of editions was 4000 books. The books were disseminated among the participants of our seminars, the government officials, the leaders of ecological movement, environmental NGO's, school libraries, local population of Khabarovsk region. Some portion of edition was given to the anti-poaching brigade from the Wildlife Hunting Management Department of Khabarovsk region to handle to the poachers and those who doesn't observe the hunting laws.
During the work by the projects we disseminated the following environmental literature:
- "The Russian language together with a tiger" - integrated courses on a regional component "The amur tiger".
- "The amur tiger" - a book - toy.
- "The amur tiger" - a manual for the teachers.
- "Graceful", the story written by Vladimir Vasilinenko about a female tiger.
- "Hundred meetings with a tiger", advises for people who spends much time in taiga, written by Eugenie Smirnov.
- "The amur tiger", the book written by Yurii Dunishenko and Alexander Kulikov.
- "Pearl of the Ussuri taiga is the amur tiger", the brochure written by Yurii Dunishenko and Alexander Kulikov.
For lectures and conversations we have chosen a wide audience including all layers of population. The total number of our listeners was 443. Much work was done with mass media. The Foundation worked with journalists.There were conducted 6 broadcasts. Each broadcast lasted 40 minutes.
As a result of our work with journalists there were written 24 articles on tiger conservation issues in local newspapers, it is more if we compare with the previous years.
We have conducted 3 children's drawings exhibitions. The total number of children took part in it was 485. It is very important to mention that the competitions of children's drawings was carried out on the territory of constant living of local people in the area of a tiger. The exhibitions of children's drawings had a great success. We have received many wishes on continuation of this work. The children's exhibitions visited more than 13500 adults and children. In the visitors' book the children wrote that more often is necessary to carry out such exhibitions, that the adults do not forget about the existence of such beautiful, at the same time rare animal, as the a mur tiger.
On the base of the Fine Art school we established the Creative studio for kids at the age of 4-5 years with purpose of inculcating ecological skills and knowledge at children of preschool age.
The children attended classes with great interest. They knew much about the Far Eastern nature and its inhabitants. Much information was given to the children on rare and endangered species, especially the amur tiger. We came to the conclusion that the work with children is necessary to continue.
During the fulfillment of the project we designed and published 3 types of leaflets.
The leaflets were distributed by the following channels: seminars, conversation, lec ture, meeting, conferences. The total number of disseminated leaflets was 5500 copies.
The results of realization of the projects revealed the key directions in e field of environmental education on tiger conservation problems and planned priority directions for future works.
As a result of concrete actions connected with the environmental education was marked a tendency of decreasing poaching in Khabarovsk area. If in 1990-1994 years there has been killed from 8 up to th 15 predators per year in Khabarovsk region, but in 1998-1999 we didn't know such cases. Other encouraging results are rather appreciable also. In particular, the number of supporters of a tiger is steadily increased. If some years ago the mention about a rare predator somewhere in a forest settlement caused an immediate negative reaction, now sharp judgements become a large rarity.
It is possible to assume, that with continuation of instructive work with the population in near future it will be possible to restore a situation, which was in 50 - 70 years, when the people did not think at all of shooting a tiger.