Participants of the “Transformation of the Arctic” eco-intensives defended their final projects

The project “Ecointensives “Transformation of the Arctic” is a powerful environmental reboot for schoolchildren and students of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Throughout the summer, the children received new knowledge about preserving the environment. It’s time to take stock

Photo: Ekaterina Ester/

The defense of the projects took place on Wednesday, October 4, at the Environmental Education Center. Governor of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug Yuri Bezdudny greeted the children.

— Ecology is the entire environment in which we live. Here were the words of Academician Vernadsky, who made a mistake when he began to consider himself cut off from the environment. When we preserve plants and protect animals, we first of all protect ourselves, because we are part of living nature. The district in which we live has such pristine natural beauty that not only you, but also your children and grandchildren will see the tundra, rivers, and lakes the same way we see them,” said the head of the region.

The project “Ecointensives “Transformation of the Arctic” was supported by the Presidential Grants Fund, the Administration of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Department of Natural Resources, Ecology and Agro-Industrial Complex of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and the Department of Internal Policy of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Its authors are the Environmental Conservation Fund of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and the Nenets Nature Reserve.

Photo: Ekaterina Ester/

— We had three directions in the project: “Territory of Meanings”, “Brave Polar Explorers of Russia” and “Clean Banks of the Pechora River”. It’s very nice that among the participants there are guys who have determined that in the future they want to connect their lives with ecology and choose this profession,” notes project manager Yulia Denisova.

Veronica Sytnik is a participant in the “Territory of Meanings”. Here the guys were developing landscape design for the territory of the eco-center.

We would like to remind you that the Environmental Education Center of the Nenets District opened on the basis of the Nenetsky Nature Reserve within the framework of the project of the Environmental Conservation Fund of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The project won the presidential grant competition in 2022.

Photo: Ekaterina Ester/

Now, in addition to the center itself, there is a cozy gazebo, an area for open-air dialogue, and bridges. In the center there is a sculpture of a walrus – the largest representative of pinnipeds, listed in the Red Book of Russia.

— It was very interesting work! First, we studied all the scientific material: the basics of landscape design, learned how to work with wood – master Nikolai Vylka taught us. Then we started practical work. I created sketches for our project. We also did landscaping ourselves, our mentor Maria Uvarova explained to us which plants were best to plant so that they would take root in our district,” says Veronika.

Photo: Ekaterina Ester/

Dinara Ermolina studied in the direction of “Brave Polar Explorers of Russia”. Eco-intensives gave us the opportunity to take a fresh look at our native land, its fragile nature, which must be protected and preserved.

The final work “Brave polar explorers of Russia» Tour routes around the district have become available. The children not only developed an eco-trip plan for tourists, but also learned how to conduct excursions themselves.

— I especially liked our trips around the district: incredible nature, people who warmly welcomed us. I was born and raised in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, but I have never been to our reserve, such unique places. We had the opportunity to develop our own ecological tourist route, I understood the importance of ecotours: I want people to see the beauty of nature and have a desire to protect it,” Dinara smiles.

Another direction – “Clean Banks of the Pechora River” – was especially loved by Roman Onishchenko. This was his first time participating in such a large environmental project. The guys cleaned up the river area on the territory of the Nenetsky Nature Reserve.

Photo: Ekaterina Ester/

“I had never been to the reserve before, but I knew that there was a problem with the abundance of scrap metal in the protected area. When I saw it with my own eyes, I realized that something urgently needed to be done about it. I was part of the first group of guys; we not only collected garbage, but also prepared a site for storage and further removal of waste. We spent three days in the reserve, but managed to do a lot of useful things in that short time,” says Roman Onishchenko.

The participants in the direction were supervised by the executive director of the Environmental Development Fund of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Evgeniy Shuvalov. He notes that the children’s response, their caring attitude towards nature and their involvement in an ecological lifestyle is the main goal of the project and an incentive for further work.

Photo: Ekaterina Ester/

“We were brought up that way ourselves.” Our entire team are ecologists by training. It is important for us to convey to modern children what we have been taught. We ourselves take care of the environment, we vaccinate our children, and we conduct master classes and projects. I am glad that the guys who participated in some projects want to continue to cooperate with us. We get good feedback from the children. This means we are on the right track,” concludes Evgeniy Shuvalov.

Photo: Ekaterina Ester/

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