Developing educational resources for cave and bat protection in Galicica National Park.
“I am really happy that for the first time in North Macedonia, but also for the first time in the region, educational materials intended for the educational system in kindergartens and elementary schools have been prepared, through which we will be able to raise awareness about the protection of caves and bats. The educational modules prepared by Ursus speleos and the games prepared by Eco Logic are a tool that can be replicated in other protected areas, especially after the excellent reception in kindergartens and primary schools in Ohrid, and excellent results are shown. I would also like to praise and thank the team of the National Park Galicica, who provided great support in the implementation of all activities and are open to further cooperation.” – Aleksandar Stojanoski, Exploring Society Ursus Speleos
The project aimed to enhance the capacities for nature education around cave and bat protection in the Galicica National Park and was a collaboration between Red Cross Ohrid, Exploring Society Ursus Speleos, and Eco Logic as well as Galicica National Park (the final project recipients).
“Environmental education is an integral part of the management of the protected area. The raising of public awareness among the local population within the National Park Galicica about the importance of bats, their biology and ecology, about the protection and importance of caves, was successfully achieved with the project “Development of educational resources for the protection of caves and bats in National Park Galicica “. The realization of a large number of workshops in kindergartens and schools, with the participation of a large number of experts and the training of a different profile of people who would further spread public awareness about caves and bats, is another proof that the need to implement projects of this profile is of great importance for National Park Galicica. Environmental education should be an integral part of our daily life, regardless of whether it will be formal education in various educational institutions or informal education such as seminars, workshops, professional courses, etc.” – Angela Taseska, Galicica National Park
The highlight of the project was the field trip to the cave Samotska Dupka. On June 25th, 2022, a field visit to the cave Samotska Dupka was organized by Red Cross Ohrid, Exploring Society Ursus speleos, and the Mountain Rescue Service of Red Cross Ohrid. The visit included representatives from partner organizations, trained educators, as well as a selection of elementary school-age students. With the help of off-road vehicles, the cave Samotska Dupka was reached, and the educational visit was delivered by trained speleo guides. Participants got to know and understand the value of the cave and other significant locations in the National Park. Following the visit, 2 films about caves – “Spelenaut” and “The Ario Dream – The Quest for Europe’s Deepest Cave” were screened in cooperation with the Echo Mountain Film Festival located in the Operational Center of the Mountain Rescue Service.
“Red Cross Ohrid, as a recognized and renowned organisation at the local level, always implements activities that benefit the community as well as the environment. For the successful implementation of the activities, the Red Cross mobilized its volunteer resources and capacities, as well as the capacities of the Mountain Rescue Service, which contributed to the successful implementation of the activities. Many thanks to PONT and CEPF for their support and for recognizing Red Cross Ohrid as a success story in implementing environmental protection activities. Also, gratitude to the project partners as well as the Galicica National Park who selflessly invested their capacities in the realization of the project goals. We continue to help our community and environment.” – Sasho Tockov, president of Red Cross Ohrid
All activities were conducted according to the protocols for COVID19 as well as with joint meetings with partners, the National Park, the Macedonian Ecological society, and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. Our activities for the project began in November 2021 and concluded in June 2022. During that time, we had some other successes:
- Educational modules developed for kindergartens and elementary schools around cave and bat protection including play-based games.
- Delivered training for trainers and educators and shared experiences in developing educational initiatives.
- 297 children from kindergarten and 151 pupils from elementary school accessed the programme.
- Sourced equipment for cave visits and distributed educational flyers and posters for cave and bat protection in National Park Galicica