The 4th International Ecological School organized by the Institute of Hydrology and Ecology (Irgeli, Kazakhstan), which staff has been studying the only marine mammal of the Caspian for more than 10 years, is over.
The event was held from 7th to 13th of August, 2017. Schoolchildren and students from Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan gathered at Saya Tourist Base, located off the coast of the Caspian Sea. Experts of scientific and public ecological organizations of the Caspian littoral countries gave lectures to the youth. They talked about necessity to preserve the ecosystem and unique biodiversity of the largest lake on the planet. And the Caspian Sea seemed to feel the seriousness and importance of what was happening – every day it greeted the guests with its warm azure waves and followed with the delightful colors of sunset. Do we need to talk about what kind of enthusiastic feelings filled us? And looking at this fragile beauty, shimmering with iridescent glare, we wanted to protect and save the sea and all its inhabitants – fish, seals, and birds.
One of the organiыers of the event, Kirill Osin, and lots of other lecturers recalled that they had decided to engage in research and environmental activities through participation in youth environmental and scientific and practical schools. We hope that our summer educational event is useful and memorable, and in a few years its members join the ranks of researchers, nature advocates and active propagandists of a careful attitude to it.
At the summer school, I happened to make a presentation “We will save the Caspian seal” and showed 2 documentary – “History of the Caspian seal: commercial hunting and researches” and “Secretes of the Caspian seal haul outs” (to watch), created by the employees of our Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology in conjunction and the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Fisheries in the framework of the scientific project “Study of the abundance dynamic, threats to the population of the Caspian seal and development of recommendations for their reduction (2015-2017)”. After watching them, participants discussed the importance of preserving the Caspian seal, the endemic species to the Caspian Sea, and the organisers of the event presented them memorable gifts featuring the animal.
Author: Assel Baimukanova, Ecological Education Specialist, the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology, Kazakhstan.
Photo: M. Baimukanov (the Caspian seal on the Islands of Durnev) and N. Lepkin (participants in the 4th International Ecological School).