«Nature School» Training Program in the Caucasus

Nature SchoolThis year in cooperation with BirdLife Partners in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia Doğa Derneği (BirdLife in Turkey) has organized a Nature School training program in the Caucasus region which brought together young conservation leaders from participating countries.

The Program aimed to develop the human capacity for nature conservation and unite efforts of future conservationists around the common goal – conservation of natural resources.

The Program was composed of two Modules. Module I was delivered in Sarikamish recreational resort, not far from the town of Kars, Turkey. The 6-days long training program allowed to exchange best practices in nature conservation and share the existing experiences among respective countries, while trainees actively discussed key conservation challenges of the region and other “hot” issues.

Turkish lecturers and expert guest-speakers introduced core conservation issues identified in the Caucasus, discussed the main actual and potential threats facing biodiversity and led the entire course in completely interactive mode – to allow active participation of trainees and have them provide solutions to real-life conservation challenges.

Module II was held in the early days of December 2009. This time trainees were hosted in the Ayder Plateau near the town of Rize, Turkey. This Module was particularly attractive because it raised conservation challenges typical of the Caucasus eco-region. Multiple group works were specifically organized to build an internal strategic thinking and develop other conservation skills in trainees. Special training sessions were delivered to participants on species and site conservation, Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and management issues.

Nature school training program attempted to develop practical approach and skills in participants to address conservation challenges and created a cross-border dialogue on nature conservation among participating countries.

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