Good examples of forest related education on climate – Slovenia
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Good examples of forest related education on climate - Slovenia

Author: Ajša Alagić, Slovenian Forestry Institute (SFI), Slovenia

T oday’s blog is about good examples on climate education in forests from Slovenia and in cooperation with other countries. A very good example of international contribution is Interreg Alpine Space ALPTREES project, led by the Austrian national forestry research centre (BFW), which addresses the problems occurring in the Alpine space in the light of climate change and human activities and explores the prospects of using non-native tree species as a support to the adaptation of European forests and urban areas to climate change.

One of the project's output lies in the establishment of the open ALPTREES Knowledge Hub, that will soon be accessible for sharing formal and non-formal learning tools and technical guidance related to management and responsible use of non-native tree species. The ALPTREES educational approach reaches from the youngest audiences to life-experienced generations - – follow the NEWS on the project's website.

But to give you a quick look into some results already done…A good and creative example in how to bring the topic of climate change and their relation to forests closer to younger children is the ALPTREES Children's Song, that was written by Frederic Vahle, and lyrically reinterpreted by Petra Meisel to transport the ALPTREES topics to young audiences. With the corresponding video, this visual wake-up call won first prize at the #EUinmyregion awards 2020. The song illustrates which challenges tree species face these days. Another useful awareness spreading tool is a set of educational postcards designed by Ajša Alagić with wonderful illustrations by Paul Veenvliet, which contain opportunities and risks of common non-native trees occurring in Alpine space and were translated into five European languages as all the material in the ALPTREES project is accessible in English, Slovenian, German, Italian and French language.

And what a better way to find out how to represent a certain topic than to see students like Katharina Bacher and Marlene Hirn getting creative. The two Austrian based teachers-to-be produced a 5 minute video in German, called Ecosystem services in the city (originally Ökosystemleistungen in der Stadt).

In the school year 2018/2019, we introduced a new thematic set “Climate Change” in Slovenia and launched this topic in Eco-School project, supported by the Eco Fund and the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. As part of this project, the online platforms Ekoportal and Ekoskladovnica were upgraded. There you can find more details about the activities. More than 4.000 children and young people are already a part of this project.

We are happy and proud to address so many young people and teachers with the ALPTREES educational programs and pedagogic materials, that are accessible for free, and to see other projects developing, such as Eco-School. We can't wait to see them explore, create and so being able to raise awareness in their peer groups and families!

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