Eco-majors of the Future: How to Become a Professional Protector of the Planet

Tourism is like love: travel along the Dnieper

World environmental problems concern adolescents: starting with the activity on the world stage of 17-year-old Greta Thunberg, already dubbed “the voice of her generation” and a symbol of environmental protest, and ending with the speeches of young guys at international summits, forums and demonstrations that point to climate change and environmental pollution.

Modern teenagers no longer consider themselves not old enough and influential enough to change the world. “We're not going to wait 5, 10, 20 years to take the actions we want to see. We are not the future of this world, we are the present, we are acting now. We don't wait any longer, ”said 17-year-old Puerto Rican activist Salvador Gomez Colon at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020. Despite the fact that many of El Salvador's like-minded people, like himself, have not yet reached the age of voting, their activities set the agenda for the global media and force the highest-ranking politicians to respond. Young people are given the floor, and they take advantage of it: blogging, launching their own projects, participating in TED conferences, organizing eco-movements and organizing "green" events.

Although the "Greta effect" could not but affect the growth of environmental awareness among young people around the world, psychologists and sociologists generally attribute this trend to the entire generation Z (born, according to various theories, from about the late 1990s ). Modern children and adolescents are very prosocial, and everything related to issues of equality, human rights and freedoms, environmental protection is extremely important for them. Among the main fears of the Zetas, both in Russia and abroad, environmental challenges rank first. There is even a separate phenomenon - "environmental anxiety" experienced by the younger generation, realizing the scale of the threat.

Ecological anxiety is a chronic fear of an ecological disaster. It occurs in people who are worried about the ecological crisis and the state of the environment. Possible symptoms include panic attacks, loss of appetite, irritability, obsessive thoughts, and insomnia. At the same time, modern adolescents are in no hurry to receive environmental education - they want to become IT specialists or influencers on Instagram or YouTube. Although the latter does not exclude the receipt of funds from environmental education activities: many bloggers spreading the ideas of zero waste and environmental awareness make money on their accounts. True, there are practically no professionals among them who have any fundamental knowledge in this area.

What about eco-education in schools?

Green education should start at school: it lays the foundation for environmental education and helps to use knowledge from social and natural sciences to protect the environment.

There are Russian standards for secondary and general education in this area. They take into account the priorities of the world community and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015). But in the "green" movement in Russia, ECA believes that this is not enough.

Elvira Zinatullina, project manager Ekoclass. f movement ECA:

The main problem for teachers is the lack of up-to-date methodological and didactic materials. Information about environmental problems in textbooks does not correspond to the current situation in the world. Teachers and schoolchildren do not have an understanding of the scale of problems, they do not know what can be done to solve them at different levels, including at the level of each person. Therefore, teachers are faced with a difficult task: they do not have sufficient knowledge to prepare high-quality environmental classes themselves. They also do not have time to do lessons that are interesting for schoolchildren.

Resources have now begun to appear that help teachers in environmental education. For example, at Ecoclass. f teachers can become members of the Green Schools of Russia program and receive instructions on how to conduct and implement environmental activities and practices, as well as access to 30 free ready-made lessons and games on various topics: water conservation, forest conservation and biodiversity, separate waste collection, environmentally friendly lifestyle, climate change, new technologies for the environment and others. The purpose of such lessons is to convey to schoolchildren the scale of problems, tell about effective ways to solve them, and teach useful everyday habits.

Eco-professions in demand of the future and where to study

Sochi, resort

Tourism within the Smolensk region raises many questions from local officials, interest from tourists and many proposals for its development from Smolensk scientists. Correspondent for SMOL. IF. U tried to figure out what the pundits are proposing to promote the tourism industry.

Dnipro - the source of tourism

Not so long ago, I was approached by a group of Smolensk scientists represented by Vitaly Aniskin, Candidate of Geographical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Geography and Tourism of the Smolensk Humanitarian University. Scientists offered to publish a result of their research, which is very interesting from a tourist point of view. It was like this: in May-October last year, a group of Smolensk scientists, together with schoolchildren, students and representatives of the Smolensk Regional Children and Youth Center for Tourism, Local History and Sports, with the support of Rosatom, conducted a comprehensive study of the Dnieper River within the Smolensk Region. In addition to an exclusively scientific approach to the study of the main waterway of the Smolensk region, scientists considered the tourist and recreational possibilities of the great Slavic river, the source of which is in the Sychevsky district of the Smolensk region.

Knowing Vitaly Olegovich and his colleagues as real specialists in their field, who make a great contribution not only to fundamental science, but also to practice, I gladly read the information they summarized and this is what I learned.

Excursion tourism

Which monuments of history and culture can be reached along the Dnieper? Which ones are located on the Dnieper? Today, some tourist companies in Smolensk and Vyazma organize hiking or water (kayaking) trips to three such sites: the Gnezdovsky archaeological complex near Smolensk, the Solovyov ferry near Kardymov and the Katyn memorial near Smolensk. Why doesn't anyone go to the source of the Dnieper?

The tract at the source of the Dnieper is a very interesting place. There, not only does the Dnieper take its source, which few people remember, but at some time they tried to build a monastery there, although for various reasons the construction stalled. There is not a single living soul in the district for many kilometers, except for the local resident of woman Zina, who alone lives in the abandoned Dudkino Village a couple of kilometers from the source and does not want to leave there. If it were not for the gas workers who live and work in shifts in this village, then my grandmother most likely would not have survived. And while there is almost no road to the source, it is more or less accessible only in the summer months, when you can still somehow get to the source along the embankment from the village of Bocharovo. In general, the journey from Smolensk to the beginning of the Dnieper by land takes about 10 hours. The prospect of the source as a tourist destination opens up in the coming years. The fact is that in the Novoduginsky district, the estate of the princes Golitsyn Alexandrino, where there will be a rest house, is now receiving a second life. A few kilometers from it there is an extremely interesting estate of the noblemen Sheremetevs, which, although it needs serious reconstruction, even now makes an indelible impression on every traveler. And from there and a stone's throw to the source, why not take a trip? In addition, it is planned to build a grandiose "Vazuza & Yauza Park" in the Gagarinsky district with a planned capacity of 500 thousand people a year. Governor Alexei Ostrovsky spoke about this back in 2012. And from there tourists can be taken to the source of the Dnieper. True, it will not be possible to talk about this recreational complex until 2025, its creators admit. Scientists pay a lot of attention to the possibility of reviving shipping on the Dnieper for organizing shipping excursions to Katyn, Gnezdovo and to the Solovyov crossing. Scientists pay much attention to the development of event tourism in the region, in which, I must admit, there has been significant progress in recent years. In recent years, such festivals as "Solovyova Pereprava" and "Gnezdovskie Kurgan" have won deserved popularity among the residents of Smolensk and guests of the region.

Water tourism

Water tourism - rafting on the Dnieper on kayaks, rafts, catamarans is interesting for schoolchildren and members of children's tourism and local history clubs. High season for trekking: June to September.

Optimal areas for rafting along the Dnieper on rowing boats (according to the recommendations of researchers):

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