Experiences and educational approaches for children and young people all across the Alps were shared during ALPARC’s 5th workshop on Mountain Education in Alpine Protected Areas. The workshop was held from October 3rd-5th, 2018 in Trenta, Triglav National Park (SL) and gathered protected area staff as well as external experts involved in mountain-oriented education. The workshop aimed at fostering international exchanges and increasing knowledge on current issues such as the use of technology in environmental education activities and the role of youth participation in the different protected areas.
The use of new technologies in environmental education
The Slovenian Centre for Outdoor Activities (CSOD) guided the debate on the use of new technologies in outdoor activities. The theoretical approach was followed by a field experiment allowing participants to directly test an app developed by the organization with the help of teachers. However, some barriers still remain - the use of new technologies can cause young people to become increasingly disconnected from nature. However, it was argued that new technologies can be an educational support in activities and may facilitate the first contact with nature for those who are not used to having a hands-on experience in the mountains.
Youth participation in protected areas
The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the subject of youth participation in protected areas. The experts from the city of Idrija, with Mateuz Straus, facilitated an exchange on this topic and contributed with their experience gained during the GaYa project. Improving youth participation in park operations is considered essential to increase young people's awareness of nature protection, allowing them to become further anchored and more involved in their territories. Several protected areas such as Prealpi Giulie favor a youth council which is involved in official park meetings and manages its own budget.
This workshop was co-organized by ALPARC and Triglav National Park.