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Mobile environment units as an innovation in Polish environmental education

Mobile environment units as an innovation in Polish environmental education

The project between the Saxony State Foundation for Nature and the Environment (LANU) and the Association for Sustainable Development Agro Group from Poland is a result of the successful, cross-border collaboration in the field of environmental education.

The aim of the project was to strengthen environmental education in Poland, to establish an innovative, active form of environmental education - “mobile environmental education using mobile environment units” in Poland, and to further develop mobile environmental education in Germany. With the benefit of almost 20 years experience of the LANU Saxony mobile environmental unit “Planaria”, the Association for Sustainable Development Agro Group was able to set up the first Polish mobile environment unit “Jeżowóz” or “the Hedgehog Bus” in English, based in Białystok (District of Podlaskie).

During training of our Polish partners in Saxony in 2009, the Polish environmental educators were able to gain an insight into the mobile work and get some initial practical experience. Participation in two specialist conferences with the “National Mobile Environmental Unit Working Group” www.umweltmobile.de allowed them to get to know other German mobile projects and was used as chance to share experiences. Working on the environmental education programmes for the Polish mobile environmental unit on the subjects of Natura 2000, forest, meadow, soil, water, climate, sustainable consumption and paper then laid the foundations for the first deployments of the Hedgehog Bus. From November 2009 until the end of the project, a total of 509 mobile events were held in the districts of Podlaskie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, Mazowieckie, Lubelskie, in which 8708 primary and secondary school students took part.

 

In addition, four model training sessions for Polish teachers were held using the mobile environment unit. The teaching material covered in the project was summarised in a handout for teachers and anyone else who was interested, and distributed to schools taking part in the project. The material was also published on the project website www.ekomobil.pl.

This meant the objectives set at the start of the project were significantly exceeded. The enormous interest shown by the students and the various educational institutions in Poland and other countries bears witness to the success of the first Polish mobile environmental unit. The mobile environmental unit is now recognised well beyond our own borders, and is well received everywhere. This has forged a new path in environmental education in Poland, and firmly established the concept of mobile environmental education with the support of a vehicle in Poland. Intensive efforts are also being made to expand the project to 6 more Polish regions, and to set up a second Polish mobile environmental unit. Institutions from Switzerland, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus are also taking an interest in the idea of mobile environment units due to the Hedgehog unit and some are now planning their own mobile environmental education units.

The project was supported by the German Federal Environment Foundation, and took place in cooperation with the Association for Sustainable Development Agro Group.

Contact

Susanne Brenner

Sächsische Landesstiftung Natur und Umwelt, Akademie
Riesaer Straße 7
01129 Dresden

+49 (0)351 - 814 16 608
+49 (0)351 - 814 16 666
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