“School Grounds as a Model of a Green Economy in a Local Community” Workshop

On March 22-24, 2016, the workshop “School Grounds as a Model of a Green Economy in a Local Community” was held at the Green Cross Belarus NGO Educational Centre within the framework of which the participants discussed various issues regarding organic agriculture and an opportunity to carry out network experiments on grounds of rural school of Belarus.

The workshop was the first educational activity within the framework of the pilot initiative “Creating a Network of Innovation and Demonstration Grounds on Farming and Organic Agriculture to Promote Sustainable Land Use, Agricultural Labour among the Young, to Improve School Nutrition and to Get Income by Rural Schools” funded by the European Union and supported by the United Nations Development Programme as part of the project  “Supporting the Transition to a Green Economy in the Republic of Belarus”.

The workshop was attended by teachers from Gomel and Minsk oblasts, local coordinators, research associates of Institutes of the National Academy of Sciences and experts in the field of organic agriculture.

For three fruitful days, speakers and participants considered the current situation in the field of farming in the world and in Belarus, discussed the transition issues to a green economy, the nature of organic agriculture, its differences from the traditional one, got acquainted with modern varieties of fruit and berry crops, means of environmentally safe plant protection products, technologies and equipment for irrigation in organic farming. Particular attention was paid to reports on topics of crop rotation, composting and vermicomposting, the impact of microbiological agents and mulching methods on school grounds.

The practical part of the workshop began with presentation of the initiative: participants learnt about its objectives, tasks, stages and means of implementation. Particular attention was paid to school grounds that would become a model of a green economy locally. Agricultural experiments were carried out on existing innovation and demonstration grounds. In particular, the participants observed a detailed experiment regarding production and use of green fertilizers. It was planned to be conducted as a network experiment in all schools participating in the initiative.

During round-table discussions, the participants discussed issues, prospects and strategies of school grounds development in their educational institutions as well as an opportunity of organizing research work on them.

To sum up, the workshop became a starting point in the work on the implementation of the initiative’s tasks. The participants acquired new knowledge, got essential materials for work and established useful contacts that they managed to strengthen, including, in informal atmosphere during the cultural programme. As the main result, the participants promised to do everything possible in order to establish grounds and implement the green economy principles on them.

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This publication has been produced with the supportoftheEuropeanUnion. Responsibility for the content of the publication rests with the Green Cross Belarus NGO, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.