Ecological education

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Ecological awareness work is an essential activity for any reserve.

Ecological awareness work is done not only to encourage the formation of an ecological consciousness or the growth of an ecological culture among the people (although those are important goals), and it’s not intended to duplicate the efforts of public education. Its aim is extremely specific: to support the ideas of wildlife protection already found in the general population in order to fulfill the nature-preserving mission of reserves.

The Kronotsky Reserve’s Division of Ecological Education and Tourism began its work in 1991.

Activity of the Division

The Reserve strives to use the most effective forms and methods of ecological awareness work and to account for domestic and foreign concerns:

Work with mass media

In cooperation with regional and Russian media, the Division of Ecological Education provides journalists with information about the activities of the Kronotsky Reserve and about natural phenomena occurring in the territory; organizes interviews with the scientific staff of the Reserve; holds press conferences; and organizes trips for journalists to the territories of the Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary.

Advertising and publishing work

One of the most important methods for creating a positive public attitude toward the Reserve is the production of advertisements and publications. Information about the Kronotsky Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary is disseminated through promotional and educational booklets, leaflets, brochures, postcards, calendars, magnets, etc.

Production of films and videos

Documentaries about the Reserve show the beauty, richness and diversity of protected nature. The films are often used in exhibitions and in themed presentations for children. The Reserve’s video library is filled with reels taken by Reserve staff and major broadcasters both domestic and foreign (BBC, National Geographic).

Over the past few years, the films “The Valley of the Geysers,” “Fantastic Reality,” “Wild Russia,” and others were shot in the territories of the reserve and sanctuary.

Exposure and growth of the visitor center for tourists

The hubs of our ecological education work with the public and tourists are the Reserve’s exhibition hall and visitor centers. The Reserve’s administration is currently working on the creation of a new exhibition, which will incorporate interactive features. The first floor of the administrative building is the center of the Reserve’s ecological education efforts. Interactive informational kiosks will line the hall and offer visitors the opportunity to learn about the floral, faunal, geological, and mineralogical diversity of the reserve and sanctuary, discover sightseeing routes, etc.
In addition, the Division of Ecological Education seeks to improve its forms and methods of work with visitors. This effort is facilitated by the establishment of specially equipped centers for work with visitors (visitor centers) on the territories of the Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary. Such ecological education centers play an important role in raising ecological awareness, organizing a system of continuous environmental education, and involving the local population in practical activities aimed at the protection of nature.

Parts of the exhibition hall and visitor centers operate as traveling exhibitions that demonstrate the beauty and richness of protected nature (photo exhibits, galleries of children’s drawings, etc.). These are located not only in the visitor centers but also in regional museums, shopping centers, and office buildings among other locations.

Sightseeing tours

Ecological excursions are a very significant form of ecological education work on the Reserve. Visitors are given the opportunity to meet a world of wildlife and realize its importance. Visits to the territories of the Reserve and Sanctuary are strictly regulated, with special rules of conduct for visitors to the protected territories.

This work ensures maximum preservation of protected natural complexes, whose condition is constantly monitored.

Employees of the Division of Ecological Education and Tourism are always developing and improving sightseeing routes through the Reserve territory; conceiving of plans and tools for ecological paths and routes with informational stands and notices; and publishing the accompanying printed materials, including brochures and leaflets with descriptions of the routes and rules of conduct for the territories of the Kronotsky Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary.

Ecological celebrations and actions

Traditionally, Kronotsky Reserve participates in all-Russian actions such as the “March for Parks,” “Day of the Birds,” and “White Path.” These events are very effective ways of attracting people’s attention to the problems of nature conservation. These ecological actions and celebrations are often held in partnership with educational institutions and involve representatives from bodies of power and local government, media outlets, and potential sponsors.

Cooperation with educational institutions

The Reserve’s environmental education work is carried out in close collaboration with educational institutions, primarily with teachers of local schools. Division employees lead seminars for schoolteachers and professors, organize roundtables on questions of preserving nature and Reserve activities, and jointly develop and implement ecological education and nature protection projects and events. Throughout the year, special presentations are held for school- and preschool-age children on the topics “About Kronotsky Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary,” “The World of Brown Bears,” “Salmon of Kamchatka,” “Birds of the Kronotsky Reserve,” “Plants of the Kronotsky Reserve,” and “Poisonous Plants of the Kronotsky Reserve.”

Under the purview of the Division of Ecological Education:

Did You Know

A sea otter's fur is the most expensive in the world. Long ago, there were so many sea otters here that Kronotsky Bay was called «Beaver Sea», but in the mid-18th century they were wiped out.