Friday, July 22, 2011

Awareness raising portals

During resent years a lot of focus has been put on increasing the environmental awareness of several target groups. Most of the attempts have been campaigns, projects or short term tests, that have not had a long lifespan. The truth is that increasing knowledge and changing people´s habits needs constant effort. It is not a one time poster show without strategic analyses of the results.

UBC Commission on Environment has been assisting in several awareness raising processes. Together with partners we have managed to find several win-win solutions for cities. One of the most successful initiatives has been the work done together with the city of St Petersburg. Building up an Environmental portal of St Petersburg has enabled the city to address several target groups in one go. It has created a meeting point that gathers thousands of visitors daily. It is one of the model examples of one source that can be broadened over time.

1 prize awarded to Olga Ostapenko
One of the strategic means to develop the environmental portal of St Petersburg was to organize a comic competition to raise the awareness of youth in Russia and Finland on the state of the Baltic Sea. More than 200 participants took part in the competition. The comics showcase well the different approaches that the current youth has on the Baltic Sea and actions that can be done to save it. There is a lot to do, to ensure that littering is not the only thing that one could do!

Now there is an "Our Baltic Sea" - Computer game programming competition for Finnish and Russian students. Games are one interesting field of awareness raising activities that could be developed even further in the future. Not just for youth, but also for adults. The number of environmental games in Russian is still limited - have a look of what exist and if you know more, let us know them too.

Stella Aaltonen

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