Gulf of Finland region



Dear Reader,

This is the fourth edition of collection of articles “Our Habitat Values.” The previous editions were published in 1998, 2000 and 2002 and have already become a bibliographical rarity. They described the South shore of the Gulf of Finland, and included articles by experts in ecology and by leaders of youth groups that study and protect their favourite nature sites. The authors strived to help readers to see and love the present “image of the area,” to preserve natural environment for the future. The previous editions became very useful for teachers, leaders of children out-of-school groups, other youth environmental organisations. They were also interesting for representatives of local authorities, environmentalists, and common people – those who love nature and history of their communities.

During all these years, the co-operation network of specialists, schoolchildren, NGOs developed. Youth environmental groups, schoolchildren and teachers that work on the shores of the Gulf of Finland and on banks of rivers in the Gulf drainage area became parts of the River Watch network of Coalition Clean Baltic.

The first part of this collection includes articles by ecologists, biologists, geologists, and historians about natural and historical values not only of the South, but also of the North shores of the Gulf.

The second part of the book presents descriptions of local Values and of environmental situation in towns, villages, city districts and rural communities, created by teachers, school-children, and local environmental activists from the both shores of the Gulf. The work of teachers and youth on description of values located in their communities became a very interesting method for forming mentality of sustainable development among inhabitants.

Appendices to the book contain documents on specially protected nature areas located near the Gulf of Finland.

Joint actions, expeditions and seminars of NGOs Children of the Baltic and Green World, co-operation with the leaders of the Naturewatch programme of the Baltic Fund for Nature, with specialists of the Biological Institute of the St.Petersburg State University, Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences played a great role in preparation of this book.

We are grateful to our foreign friends and colleagues. Co-operation with them helped us to create the concept of this book. Today they support us in our work on protection of our common values: Enid Schreibman and Fran Macy (USA), Staffan Svanberg (Sweden), Antanas Kontautas (Lithuania).

The materials published in this book are not the final and only possible view on the Gulf of Finland region. It is rather a ground for joining our experiences in the sphere of environmental education and nature protection, the possibility for everyone to express his or her own attitude to the Values of his or her local community and to make it clear for other inhabitants.

In our opinion, creation of the Map of Our Habitat Values is a continuous process, which will permit to make visible and clear the values that should be protected and conserved for the sake of sustainable development of this area and for deserving existence of its inhabitants in the new century.

This edition, as the previous ones, is an invitation for co-operation with you, respected Reader!

Olga Senova, Children of the Baltic