A school competition raising young people’s awareness on forest ecosystems and spurring environmental activism
Applied Financing Solutions
Start: 2016 | End: 2022
In operation since/from: 2016
In 2016, the Niko Ketskhoveli Prize was established as an environmental youth award in the scope of the project Promoting Sustainable Forest Governance in Georgia, with financial assistance from the Austrian Development Cooperation. The annual national school competition aims to foster environmental education with special emphasis on forest-related issues and engage youth in civil life. Registered youth groups can collect points for organizing activities, events or small-scale research projects according to the challenges and tasks provided on forestry.ge. At the end of each competition year, an expert jury selects three out of several hundred participating “eco clubs” to receive the award in the name of Niko Ketskhoveli – a famous Georgian biologist, scientist and writer.
The project raises the schoolchildren’s awareness on the importance of the forest ecosystem and cross-cutting issues, thereby contributing to a positive and responsible attitude towards forests and nature in general. Moreover, it spurs concrete environmental activism such as the adoption and care of recreational forest sites, the organization of hundreds of clean-up and tree planting activities in cooperation with the National Forestry Agency, bans on single-use plastic at schools etc.
Success Factor | Hero Moment
The activism coming from the schoolchildren even initiated the Krtsanisi Forest Park development program, resulting in the conservation of 210 hectares of urban forests near Tbilisi.
To top it off, the program is supported by extra-curricular Green Camps for active eco clubs, special summer trainings for school teachers, and printed and digital knowledge materials, which are distributed for free to rural communities, rural women‘s clubs, universities etc.
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), Georgia
Other Involved Stakeholders
Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, Ministry of Education and Sciences, Environmental Committee of the Georgian Parliament