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Education for sustainable solutions in the Gulf of Finland region

A trilateral Russian-Finnish-Estonian seminar “The Baltic Sea environment: Best environmental education practices and application of new scientific knowledge in schools for education for sustainable development” was held in St.Petersburg on June 9. It was organized by Friends of the Baltic, the Children’s Environmental Center of St.Petersburg Vodokanal and the Finnish Institute of Environment.

One of the goals of the seminar was to strengthen the cooperation network of educators, scientists and NGOs of the three countries, as part of developing the St.Petersburg hub for sustainable water and coastal development. The main topic discussed at the seminar was the integration of new scientific data on the environmental situation in the Gulf of Finland region into educational materials.

Educators from all the three countries had a chance to share their experience in environmental education, as well as work together on new educational methods that would incorporate the scientific results of the Gulf of Finland year 2014-2015. The scientific report was published only recently in the form of a 300-page academic work, which includes a number of visual materials – maps, diagrams, etc. The material is extremely interesting, but it needs to be seriously adapted – in order to be used by teachers in their educational work.

Among the topics that were of particular interest to the educators, was the eutrophication of the Gulf, its biodiversity, alien species, and marine litter – especially microplastic, which is a new very serious, yet insufficiently studied problem of the Baltic Sea.

During the work groups, educators discussed and proposed specific options for its visualization and popularization, as well as solutions that may help improve the situation. The participants developed ideas of sets of future educational materials that are based on the new data. The proposed ideas will be the basis for the creation of new sets of materials, as well as in other future projects by Friends of the Baltic and partners from the neighboring countries.

The seminar was held as part of the international project “Local Research and Education Hubs- key for sustainability education” (No.CBSSPSF/SC 042015/4), implemented with the support of the CBSS Project Support Facility.

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