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BIOPHILIA erleben│gestalten│schützen
Start date: May 4, 2015, End date: Oct 3, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The ““BIOPHILIA erleben│gestalten│schützen” project was an encounter for 21 young adults from Austria and Germany, aged between 18 and 30 years and two supervisors. This education was focused on practical nature protection based on the objective of promotion of competences. Further focal points were: cultural exchange and reduction of prejudices, exchange of best practice in nature related activities and founding international friendships and future cooperations. Required qualities of the participants were to be in tune with nature, curiosity, willingness to learn, tolerance, openness towards practical experiences in natural resources management. Located at the gateway to the natural park southern Styria, the participants learned conservation management measures for protected endangered species in Spielfeld (market town Straß). The participants will build Käferlarvenburgen as a long-standing monument of the active nature conservation. In addition, the participants performed seed transmission of selected plant species on former farming land and tried to convert it into a natural state. Another project was to fight against invasive neophytes by various methods. In addition to the practical, technical modules there were extensive workshops in which the community is central. These include common activities such as cooking, excursions, visits and tours that was undertaken in the region. As a final highlight, an open day was to taken place on the last day. It was free for anyone interested in the region. The day was finished with the "Fest der Arten" a final party of the camp. The open day and the final party was planned, organized and conducted by the participants. Support was provided by the group leaders and other experts. The practical orientated modules of this project were based on „Learning by doing“, group work, the independent developing and applying of problem solution strategies and also informal and formal studying techniques. To achieve more social skills ice breakers, discussion in groups, group dynamic learning plays, creative work, a project diary, reflexion, to democratic decision-making processes, etc. was used. The young adults learned within the different project modules relevant methods from the areas of biotope and nature conservation management. At the same personalities and skills such as responsibility, flexibility, diligence, creativity, communication and environmental awareness were promoted and strengthened. In the long term an understanding of nature, strengthening the individual personalities and networking between organizations and the participants was target and can be expected.

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