The international project " EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER USE" within the Karelia CBC Programme (Priority 3, Clean and comfortable region to live) has been initiated by the Swedish Karelian Business and Information Centre (SKBIC) in collaboration with a number of Russian and Finnish partners.
The duration of the project is 2 years.
The total project costs are around 460 000 €, Programme financing is almost 403 000 €.
The project partners are:
— 5 organizations from Petrozavodsk and St. Petersburg and 1 organization from Finland (Finnish Environmental Institute).
The problem which is tackled by the project is low public awareness in the issues of efficient water and wastewater management both in Petrozavodsk and in Joensuu region.
Sustainable water consumption requires a strong humanitarian approach — namely, a systematic continuous work is needed on educating the population starting from the youngest possible age. Currently water consumption culture is very low — citizens are poorly informed, if at all, about how the drinking water is produced and delivered, what happens to the waste water, how can one get sustainable knowledge about the water consumption. As of yet, no attempts have been undertaken for building a system of continuous education in these issues, which would start in the kindergartens and continue to the secondary school level.
Same kind of problems have also been identified in Finland / North Karelia. Even though the matters of biodiversity of the local lakes and rivers are a part of biology/geography lessons in schools, no specific knowledge is offered to the children on how to treat water in own households, what happens to the wastewater and how it affects the environment, and much more.
Thus, the objective of the project is to launch a system of efficient water use education in Petrozavodsk, Joensuu and Kitee.
The project activities will fill the educational gap and provide basis for continuous education on water issues from earliest ages. A system of methodic work on promoting water lessons in schools and kindergartens will be launched during the project and will be further continued. It is expected that these educational activities will affect both children and their families, thus multiplying the awareness affect and promoting it to the wider population. The project will create a basis for involving broader public into the information campaigns on sustainable water use.
The project will provide conditions for introducing the practical lessons on water use and management: establishing of a Water Center in Petrozavodsk will create an important link between the operator of the water/sewage facilities and the low-end users.
The project will build networks, uniting teachers, specialists of water supply and treatment companies, local experts in water issues training and research.
Lead Partner - Swedish-Karelian Business and Information Centre
Project leader Vera Meshko
Project manager, Joensuu
Raimo Heikkilä, SYKE