"Junior Ranger Program" Eco-Education Initiative
The “Junior Ranger Program” was established in 2002 by the European Conservation Area Federation (EUROPARC). It currently unites more than 5,000 teenagers from almost all over the Europe, as well as 80 protected areas in 19 EU countries.
Within the framework of the project, schoolchildren from Ayb School will contribute to the ecotourism development, conservation strengthening, wildlife monitoring, environmental awareness raising and education. During some stages of the project schoolchildren from Areni and Khachik communities of the Gnishik Protected Landscape will join the initiative which will strengthen the cooperation between the communities. An informational training and field visit to the Gnishik Protected Landscape have already been organised at the start of the project, during which the participants have got acquainted with the achievements, infrastructures and existing environmental issues of the protected area. Participants will be divided into the groups to initiate and implement various environmental activities together with WWF-Armenia, Ayb School and Gnishik Protected Landscape professionals.
In case of success of the "Junior Ranger Pilot Program" in Armenia, this eco-education model can also be introduced in other specially protected nature areas as an environmental education tool, which is particularly important for attracting teenagers from adjacent communities to nature conservation.