New Earth Charter course in Kazan University, Tatarstan

The new academic year of 2009-2010 started on 1 September, with a class on the principles of Earth Charter for the sophomores, juniors, and seniors of Kazan State University of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences.

A year earlier, in the fall of 2008, the University signed the Affiliate Agreement with the ECI Secretariat and established the Center for Education for Sustainable Development on its premises. At that time they, were introduced to Earth Charter educational materials.

This year, students from the Department of Geography, the future geologists and environmentalists, participated in the training workshop on the Earth Charter. This training workshop was held in an interactive way: the participants formed smaller working groups that had to choose one or several favorite principles of the Charter; reflect on their connectedness and interdependence with other parts of the document and then dialogue about their point of view during their group presentations.

This event was organized and held at the University by Dr. Elena Minakova, a young Assistant Professor, and an active member of the Earth Charter Youth Group in Tatarstan. Elena’s next project is the Earth Charter children’s book for pre-school and primary students. The book will contain various principles of the Earth Charter presented in an entertaining and emotional way and expressed by means of story-telling and poetry written by Elena (she has the experience of introducing Earth Charter to her own young daughter who is a primary school student ). All colourful illustrations are being made by the University graduate and a member of the ECYG.

The Earth Charter Affiliate in Russia, Center for Environmental Policy and Culture, under the leadership of Vladimir M. Zakharov, together with the Russian Public Chamber are sponsoring this project. The first publication will have 700 copies to be distributed in kindergartens and primary schools across Tatarstan.