Mountain Spirit-Volunteering for Nature Conservation Seminar

We have attended to “Volunteering for Nature Conservation Seminar” in the village of Vlahi, Bulgaria within the Erasmus+ supported project Mountain spirit – Strategic EVS for Nature Conservation. Mountain Spirit is a project of combining four nature persevering organizations among four countries that are Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Kosovo. Under the name of Mountain Spirit various events have occurred for nature conservation, as this seminar had hold between 24th and 30th of May hosted by Vlahi Nature School.

The 27 participants from all over Europe spent almost a week at the foot of Pirin Mountain National park. The seminar brought together young people with experience as volunteers for preserving wildlife and natural resources who are involved with environmental organizations and willing to get more engaged into organizing volunteer activities for others. The participants had the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge of working with volunteers and reaching out to more people. Also seminar participants more familiar with financial tools to help them implement conservation ideas and initiatives through Erasmus+, European Solidarity Corps and LIFE+ programs of the European Union. Thus seminar provided better solidarity opportunities for future nature conserving projects and opened space for young volunteers and nature conservers to create solid friendships.

Besides seminar meetings and educational lectures, young participants provided volunteer work for Vlahi Nature School. There was some work to protect the garden fence of the Nature School from weather and insects by covering it with linseed oil – the least harmful for nature. The participants in the international meeting also helped in the garden to take care of plants and other educational and demonstration elements in the School.

Participants also had a day off to visit Belasitsa Nature Park and learned about biodiversity of the environment they are around. Giving great importance to team work, young participants have created their own nature conservation project at the end of the seminar. Inspired by all the lectures and meetings, they tried to find out more efficient ways of writing and applying a project of their own.  As they leave the seminar, they promised to volunteer at least five more days for nature conserving projects and received the bear totem of Mountain Spirit.

Photos of Seminar

Berkay Üstün

Association of Back to Nature

Movement – Abundance – Body Workshop

Movement – Abundance – Body Workshop, supported by BIRLIKTE: Local CSOs Institutional Support Program funded by the European Union-was held on 1-2 June 2019 in Kırklareli İğneada Longoz Forests

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The workshop was held with the attendance of 33 young individuals. Along with participants from Turkey there were also participants from Hästekasen Farm of Sweden and Velebitska Udruga Kuterevo of Croatia and they all shared their experiences with each other.

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During our camping event, which was located at the edge of Longoz Forests, all cooking, cleaning and workshop organizations were held in a co-op manner.
In our camp, where we studied the ways of understanding and respecting the movement of nature, we experienced camping in harmony with it and followed a peaceful approach by using local and handmade products of non-plastic and non-chemical.

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During the improvised dance workshop, we listened to the rhythm of wind whispering among the branches of trees and waves of the sea in this pristine nature of the Black Sea coast where we give it a new movement through our bodies dancing to the rhythm.

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With various workshops organized by our fellow performance artists and the other participants we tried to experience the movement of nature in our bodies. In the day time we performed our activities under the shade of oak trees and when the day is done we gathered around our campfire to adopt our voices to the songs of nocturnal birds.
Activities of the camp:

  • Meet the essence of the body with soil
  • Introduction to natural breath
  • Waking up the body
  • Introduction to improvised dance
  • Land-Art workshop
  • Meditation
  • Experiencing soil element in nature
  • Wise Tree workshop
  • Bird watching
  • Juggling workshop
  • Basic survival skills in nature

Besides these workshops, some additional activities such as hiking, top roping and climbing techniques, slacklining, canoeing and music were held.

Thanks to our participants and volunteers.

Photos of the workshop

Association of Back to Nature

Green Belt Day 2018 Nature Photography Training

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As part of the Green Belt Day 2018 celebrations, the Bulgarian Balkan Green Foundation and Turkish foundation of Back to Nature organized a photography training program with Euronatur’s fund support from Germany.

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The training of nature photography was performed at 22-24 September in İğneada Turkey, Levka Village Bulgaria the scope of Europian Green Belt Day 2018. Participants who attended training from Turkey and Bulgaria, keeped informed about ethics of bird and the photo shooting in nature.They evaluated their photos which taken in the same day with Mehmet Hanay.
The second stage of the event was carried out at the little kestrel feeding and reproduction center in the village of Levka in Svilengrad, Bulgaria. Natural life photographer Lubomir Andreev informed the participants about nature photography, while the works carried out in Bulgaria were transferred via photo slides and videos.
The event which continuing two nights and three days ended with a certificate ceremony and photo exhibition.

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Within the scope of the Green belt, it was realized simultaneously in 24 countries.We thank you for cooperation to Turkey Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry General Directorate of Nature Conservation National Parks Kirklareli Branch Directorate and Bulgarian Balkan Green Foundation.

Event photos can be found in our archive.

Meeting of Balkan Countries Youth Councils

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We attended the Acto Project, which was attended by councils of youth from Balkan countries in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from February 16th to February 24th.

With this project, Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina as countries to increase the adequacy of the youth council representatives, to support their advocacy campaign execution, to inform the citizens, authorities, organizations providing participation is aimed my increase the organizational capacity.

We have been informed of this project, which covers the area we have been working on for a long time, by an invitation from the Youth Organisations Forum (go-for) to which we are a member.

This capacity development project, which is a partner of the common Education Center from Turkey, is supported by Erasmus+ K2 – cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Capacity Building for youth in neighbouring and enlargement countries Capacity Building for youth – Western Balkans.

At the training stage of the project, workshops were held on the implementation of youth policies in decision-making mechanisms and on the participation of young people in decision-making processes, and on the promotion of the experiences of participating young people through initiatives taken in campaign processes.

The coordinator of the project Jasmina Banjaluckic from the Council of Youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina gives us information about the programme and the project.

High school teens in Jajce do great things. They have launched an initiative in the education system against the State against discrimination and discrimination, and are now leading a strict reform of Education. An attempt to be taken as an example. Young people were very equipped. His speech was an inspirational presentation.

At the  training workshops such as advocacy campaigns and tools, civil initiatives and examples, information and communication tools, in our external times we had the chance to get to know the culture of young people from countries both visiting the Jajce environment.

A picture of Jajce’s natural beauty,small huts is a mill.

One of the 12 most beautiful falls in the world is Pliva waterfall.

Representatives of Balkan countries showed great interest in the promotional booklets and gifts provided by Kırklareli Municipality during the cultural night events.

The hall where the anti-fascist assembly was convened during World War II and then the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established. Everything is in the same place as it was that day.

Great view of the city of Jajce from the castle stairs.

We are together with the Turkish team from the TOY Youth Association who invited us to the project. Thank you very much. A great team is doing a great job. Follow them. We organized a small workshop in ICT tools with them. We’ve learned some more very nice tools. So we had a chance to introduce our association and Go-For.

Thanks to Elma and Nejra from Jajce for their hostpitality and kindly gifts.

The palace where I came with the Freja Forum thanks to the support of Civil Thought, I was photographed in the same place again in Bosnia. Finally, a union that I want is coming to life.

Following this training, a conference will be held in Serbia. Later, a meeting will be held for the networks of national youth councils, youth forums and organizations and institutions working on youth policy, to develop new project ideas, to share examples of good practice on advocacy and civil rights, to strengthen intercultural dialogue, to publish a publication on equality and diversity.
In cooperation with national youth councils in the Balkans, a network will be established which we have dreamed of.
We will continue to announce the news related to the project from our page.

For more photos please visit our archive.
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Selçuk Aslan

Association of Back to Nature