«Land of Leopard» National Park for schoolchildren and local people
The volunteers out of the students of Primorsky Province Agricultural Academy, Far Eastern Federal University and the staff of “Kedrovaya Pad” Nature Reserve helped to prepare this event. Since the beginning of the school year, they conducted the series of classes devoted to the establishment of the “Land of Leopard” National Park in all 12 secondary schools of Khasansky district. During the class 3100 schoolchildren from the 1st to 11th grade were drawing the borders of the national park on the key maps, learned the information about its zones and regulations of the activity on its territory. The bright big event in a form of role-playing game on the central square of Slavyanka became the final result of this work.
«It is very important to form positive attitude of local people towards the national park before its establishment. This is a new protected area for the district. In most cases local people do not understand the functions of the future national park, they are afraid that the national park will restrict their rights for recreational activities and for the use of forest resources. Schoolchildren very easily understand the information when it is given in the form of a game, during which they answer questions about the core and protected zones of the future national park, about the activity allowed within the zone of limited use. After such classes each student out of 240 participants of the game would share the information with parents and neighbors. They became our real supporters spreading a word about the importance of creation of national park.” – comments Svetlana Titova, coordinator of projects on Protected Areas at WWF-Russia Amur branch.
Local people also became the participants of the role-playing game and shared their attitude towards the national park in their interview to local media:
Nikolay Sivenko: «Establishing national park is very important for leopard conservation. Presently, only 30 of them are left in the wild, and special zones should be created for their protection.”
Anatoly Samoilenko: «It is definitely necessary to create such protected area, because of all the fires that and other threats which destroy the wildlife. We do need the national park! We need to preserve the nature not only for ourselves but for future generations.”
The attitude of local people of Khasansky district will play the main role in the public hearings on national park that will take place in October.