Ecosystem’s Legacy: Developing Youth Environmental Initiatives
Kamchatka: not just a beautiful location but a place where projects take shape
We would like to position both the Ecosystem Forum and this event for young people who have gathered together here in Kamchatka in such a way that each participant understands that Kamchatka is not only a wonderful place, not only a beautiful place, but also somewhere where people can fulfil themselves. A place to come with your dream, with your project, and then see it in reality. And this is probably the most important philosophy that we have tried to convey to our participants — Aleksandra Lebedeva, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Kamchatka Territory.
Small businesses could set up tourism infrastructure
We have a government-level task: the development of environmental tourism, and it is as part of this task that entrepreneurs who will contribute to the development of tourism infrastructure and the provision of tourist services for visitors - all this can be done by young entrepreneurs. This will not only involve big business, but also small businesses, and the support of local communities. Big plans, big prospects. We need to establish a dialogue, and this is probably the key point — Veronika Leshchinskaya, Head of the Department of Information and Methodological Support for Environmental Education and Personnel Training, Roszapovedtsentr.
Green living is simple and profitable
Our job is to show that living in an environmentally friendly way is simple, interesting, effective, and profitable — Victoria Saar, Ecosophy Project Manager, Russia – Land of Opportunities.
The Far Eastern environment: not the only issue to focus on
I would like to hope that everyone’s focus will turn not only to Kamchatka, to the Far East, but also to other regions that are no less deserving of attention, where a local environmental community also exists. Where there are also young people who want both to carry out their projects and achieve their own dreams ‘on the ground’. In all likelihood we will need to develop on an incredible scale — Veronika Leshchinskaya, Head of the Department of Information and Methodological Support for Environmental Education and Personnel Training, Roszapovedtsentr.
There’s a training problem
We have begun work on the issue of human resources policy in our nature reserves. You may not be aware of the fact that the system of nature reserves is, in fact, extensive. We have 236 federal nature reserves alone, and all of them have staff shortages to some extent <...>. There are numerous opportunities for employment, but another issue is where should we join forces, in what field should we join forces, when there are needs, are there trained young people ready to come and work with us? — Veronika Leshchinskaya, Head of the Department of Information and Methodological Support for Environmental Education and Personnel Training, Roszapovedtsentr.
There are no environmental stars in the country. Drozdov is not so young now, and nor is Chilingarov. So we do not have environmental stars in our country; we need to create them. This is the goal we have set ourselves — Victoria Saar, Ecosophy Project Manager, Russia – Land of Opportunities.
The Kamchatka camp will become a focal point for activists across the country
Probably the most significant and important project for me – because it is connected to construction, and construction work is always important and critical – is, of course, a camp that we have to build and partially adapt based on the strategies proposed by Forum participants. Because this is primarily an opportunity to create a focal point where schoolchildren in the Kamchatka Territory, the Far East, and the whole of Russia can meet up, learn, and develop. And on the other hand, this is the point where we will also meet annually, because it has been decided that the Ecosystem Forum will become an annual event, and that we will have the opportunity to meet every year in Kamchatka — Aleksandra Lebedeva, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Kamchatka Territory.
Younger generation needs inspiration from the right role models
I was lucky enough to oversee a number of areas at the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, several pathways. One pathway is entrepreneurship, the ‘Rosmolodezh.Business’ pathway. As part of the work that we are conducting, we have managed to bring together 1,600 young entrepreneurs at the present time <...>. All kinds of inspiring stories help youngsters from the regions to talk in terms of how to monetize social environmental projects, when they understand that this is, in fact, not just a point of interest for them personally — Alexey Rvachev, Director, Center for Assistance to Young Professionals.
We have decided to bring people who care about changing the world, and who are already doing this through their projects, together in one community. To try to do this together, to convey our mindset, our culture, and our thinking to the next generation — Mikhail Paley, Head, All-Russian Movement "Inspirers".
The environment should be important to everyone, not just top officials
You and I need to bring this matter (the environmental agenda – Ed.) not only to top officials and decision-makers, but to ordinary people. And we will do this, because there are truly many of us, and we have to live in this country — Alexey Rvachev, Director, Center for Assistance to Young Professionals.
Alexander Zakondyrin was present here at the Forum, he is the chairman of the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. We will try to talk with him about this – about starting up a young people’s group in the Public Council of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, perhaps even setting up a separate structure — Veronika Leshchinskaya, Head of the Department of Information and Methodological Support for Environmental Education and Personnel Training, Roszapovedtsentr.