Environmental Protection Training in Kapan
by Armenuhi Nikoghosyan
On 12 April, 2013 I conducted training on “Environmental Protection” in Kapan city. Kapan is the center of Syunik Region, Armenia. The training was promoted by the city’s Jinishian Memorial Foundation. The target group was 1st and 2nd year students from the Engineering Institute in Kapan. The training was organized within the educational initiatives of the foundation.
The students got acquainted with various topics such as the ecosystem, environment protection and its issues, green community, waste management and environmental organizations operating in Armenia.
They were mainly unfamiliar with the concept of “green community” thinking that it referred to having trees, plants and parks in the city. After learning about the basics of green community they worked in groups deciding how to make Kapan’s environment greener. Afterwards they did an exercise to find out how much waste they themselves generate. They also learned what kind of material can be recycled and were introduced paper recycling instructions. In order to better understand the need for waste management we provided an opportunity for them to watch an educational film called “Message from Midway”. After watching it the students were so touched that decided to organize its screening in the public park.
The idea of reusing waste was also accepted with great enthusiasm. We prepared a couple of examples of reused old items – a photo frame from an old CD and a bag from an old T-shirt. The students suggested some ways of making the reused items look more appealing. They were also introduced the article “Films on the Fridges” that encouraged them to think of some similar reuse projects for their community.
The idea of composting was quite unfamiliar to them and they were shocked by the results of an exercise that revealed how long it usually takes certain items to decompose. Then they were introduced to what can be composted and what are the benefits of composting.
All in all the students were very active and excited during the entire training. In their words the training was very useful as the next day they were organizing a march declaring people to protect their environment and not pollute. They were going to wear T-shirts with slogans such as “Don’t Pollute the Environment” and “Voghji is not a dump” (Voghji is the river that flows through Kapan). The students confessed that the training gave them some inspiration for later projects regarding recycling and reusing of waste. In addition, we provided them with basic information and contacts of the environmental organizations active in Armenia so they can implement more effective and community driven projects.
Photo courtesy of Zhenya Navasardyan, Project Coordinator at Jinishian Memorial Foundation (Kapan).