The training course "Public Participation in Conservation of Small Rivers" took place on the 14-21 July 2003. It was organised for NGO activists by the Institute of Ecology (INECO) of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine and the Wetlands International Black Sea Programme. The training course was carried out at a boarding-house in a resort area on the bank of the Dnipro River in
25 activists from 25 environmental NGOs (members of Ukrainian Rivers Network) from all regions of Ukraine and 14 lecturers from different NGOs took part in the training course.
In Ukraine, the training course on such a theme was conducted first time. It was elaborated on the basis of own methods and experience of Ukrainian organisers and was adapted directly to needs of environmental NGOs interested in small rivers conservation and rehabilitation.
The structure of the training course was developed by local experts in hydrobiology and small rivers conservation and staff of Wetlands International Black Sea Programme. The working group was organised consisting of NGO/SR representatives, scientists and lawyers. It developed the 7-day long training course "Public Participation in Conservation of Small Rivers" to increase the knowledge of key representatives of local and national NGO/SR on the potencies and problems faced with the conservation and sustainable development of small rivers and streams. It includes lectures, round tables, environmental games, discussions and field trips.
The working group determined such main topics of the training course:
- World water resources and problems of their conservation.
- Basics of functioning of river systems.
- Small rivers use.
- Regional peculiarities of economic use of small rivers.
- Up-to-date ecological state of small rivers in Ukraine. Ecological aspects of conservation and restoration of small
- Integrated management – river basin approach.
- Technique of photography of nature.
- Water protected zones and protected riversides.
- Activities on conservation and enhancement of rivers. Restoration of natural complexes of river
- Public monitoring of state of rivers and their valleys.
- Organisation of field studies. Methods. Writing reports.
- Public assessment of state of small rivers.
- System of management of water industry in Ukraine. Legal aspects of conservation and restoration of small rivers. Legal aspects of public participation in environmental
- Legal aspects of public participation in environmental impact assessment
- Methods of public influence on environmental decision-making. Experience of Ukrainian and international NGOs; international initiatives.
- Development and implementation of local environmental action plans
- Co-operation of NGOs with local authorities: planning of joint
- Collaboration with mass-media.
- Project development and implementation. Preparation and handing in materials to official governmental bodies.
- Financial maintenance of NGO nature conservation activity.
- Environmental ethics and environmental movement. Ethical aspects of small rivers
- Establishment of protected areas and assessment of state of established
- Environmental education. Establishment of environmental trails.
- Environmental (green, rural) tourism.
- Conducting of environmental educational expeditions.
Five days were devoted to lectures, seminars, discussions, presentations, etc. Two days were devoted to field studies and excursions Typical Landscapes of River Valleys and Landscapes of River Valleys Changed by Human Activity as well as environmental games. The field practice were conducted in basins of small rivers of Kyiv Oblast such as Irpin, Stugna, Unava, Syvka, and Vita rivers.
The training-course has been evaluated by participants and trainers. Questionnaires on evaluation of training course filled by participants were analysed and generalised. A meeting of the trainers was conducted. Results of participants' evaluation were discussed. Trainers and organisers also evaluated themselves and discussed lessons learnt. Proposals on improvement of the training course were gathered and included in the plan of preparation of next training course (summer 2004) in the framework of the project "Rivers Network of
In participants' opinions the training course was organised on the high level. It was very intensive, informative and useful. For example, Lyudmyla Uspenska from Environmental Club "Skyfia" (Sevastopol City) shares her impressions: "The highest professional and cultural level of lecturers!!! Friendly atmosphere!! I am happy!"