The Hunting Federation of Macedonia & Thrace: enhancing education for nature conservation
The Hunting Federation of Macedonia and Thrace, Greek Eurosite member, is the Lead Beneficiary in the approved project “Certified Environmental Actors – CEA”, supported by Cooperation Programme “INTERREG V-A Greece-Bulgaria” 2014 – 2020. The project has been approved within priority axis 2: “A Sustainable and Climate adaptable Cross-Border area” and more specifically in investment priority 6d: “Protecting and restoring biodiversity, soil protection and restoration and promoting ecosystem services including NATURA 2000 and green infrastructures”.
The 2-year project involves two municipalities and two NGO’s from Greece and Bulgaria as partners.
The CEA project outlines that in the cross border area, there is a large number of NATURA 2000 protected areas and unique ecosystems with rare biodiversity richness. In addition, there is a significant number of hunters, who are members of local associations, and other stakeholders who can contribute to the biodiversity and natural sources protection. The main objective of the project is to protect and conserve biodiversity and ecosystems by training, motivating and activating environmental actors, which will allow the active participation of them in environmental and biodiversity protection and ecosystem promotion. The idea is to certify, educate and develop skills (wildlife identification, survival skills, etc) to environmental actors (hunters, rescuers, general public etc) though certification thematic courses combining theoretical and practical training with available infrastructure, aided by augmented reality software in Educational and Certification Centers (theoretical training).
The project will deliver the necessary educational tools (e.g. augmented reality software and hardware), framework and infrastructure which will be piloted among the cross border population. A small educational centre (see design in the featured image) will be created in the mountainous area of Kato Nevrokopi in Greece using digital elements of various environmental conditions and presenting wildlife species.
The implementation of this project will directly result in creating individual well-trained and certified actors who can contribute on environmental and biodiversity protection and promotion. It is expected that the public will come closer to cross-border natural assets through promotional campaigns, publicity events, and the implementation of other communication activities.