Croatian Exchange September 2016

In September 2016 we met for the 5th international exchange in Fužine, Croatia. More than 50 students and their teachers from UK, Germany, France and Croatia gathered for an outdoor science programme. The goal of the exchanges is to increase the motivation to study the natural sciences and apply the natural science to addressing key challenges in Europe nowadays.

The emphasis of this exchange was on biodiversity and how it can be connected with a local industry in a protected area through the idea and practice of sustainable development. The programme was very intense and it gave a lot of opportunities of learning about other cultures and methods for outdoor learning and environmental education.

In September 2016 we met for the 5th international exchange in Fužine, Croatia. More than 50 students and their teachers from UK, Germany, France and Croatia gathered for an outdoor science programme. The goal of the exchanges is to increase the motivation to study the natural sciences and apply the natural science to addressing key challenges in Europe nowadays.

The emphasis of this exchange was on biodiversity and how it can be connected with a local industry in a protected area through the idea and practice of sustainable development. The programme was very intense and it gave a lot of opportunities of learning about other cultures and methods for outdoor learning and environmental education.

On the  first day we met together in mixed nation groups to play some cooperation games. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. We visited the local family farm, Lake Bayer and learnt about the town Fužine and its protected natural sites, species and link between biodiversity, protected areas, industrial and touristic activities in surroundings.

The second day started at 4.30 am! The early bird catches the worm. The aim of this day was to learn about nature park Učka, what the job responsibility of biologists in this area is, procedure and purpose of bird ringing. To make this day more enjoyable we prepared lunch and had a meal together in a lovely Nature Park. On Wednesday the international group was ready for a trip to National Park Risnjak where they met park rangers. Students learned a lot on main Croatian policies about protected areas. The four international groups had a task of filling up the questionnaire for  people of  different professional backgrounds they met through the exchange week. The goal was to study them and compare in order to learn and expand knowledge about different perspectives on nature protection topics.

The boat excursion on Thursday was a lot of fun, it gave us spectacular views from the boat  to the sea and Croatian coastline. Students met the fishermen and their point of view on topics like exploitation of sea resources, tourism, making profit from fishing, poaching etc. On the  final day, after work in their national groups, we had  a discussion to make a common “European Law” on  nature protection to sum up what we had learned during the week.  Soon after the conference in the Fužine City Hall we headed back to Fuzinarska lodge for the party and it was time for the big farewells.

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