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The Great Volga River Route (GVRR) Project

Uniting the Seas (Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas) in favour of World Heritage Education for Sustainable Development with the support of ICTs

The GVRR project aims to link young people engaged in the preservation and promotion of World Heritage and Biosphere sites and sustainable development issues among the countries located along the Volga River and on the banks of the Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas with the use of information, communication and technologies.

GVRR is a follow-up of the final recommendations of the World Heritage Youth Forum, in Velikie Novgorod (Russian Federation) in 2002. The project serves as a concrete contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and explores and develops the effective use of ICTs to improve quality education.

Participants include Associated Schools in 16 countries situated along the Great Volga River Route, a region with rich cultural and natural heritage: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Iran, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine.

Several activities have been held to sensitize young people about the preservation of environment, the threatened World Heritage sites along the Volga River and BBC Seas and prod them to action.

132 teachers and students have received training during the:

  • Youth Forum on Sustainable Development and World Heritage: Cultural Implications in Helsinki (Finland, June 2005)
  • Workshop on Sustainable Development and World Heritage: Preservation of the Environment in Bucharest (Romania, July 2005)
  • Workshop The Great Volga River Route: A scientific approach - ASPnet schools, scientists and World Heritage experts working together in Novorossiysk (Russian Federation, November 2005)
  • International Forum "Along the Great Volga River Route: Young people set sail to Explore World Heritage, Sustainable Development and ICTs" aboard the cruise ship "Gregory Checherin" (May 2006)

In order to develop awareness and knowledge about World Heritage and sustainable development and their environmental implications among teachers and students, a booklet of selected World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves was produced in both printed and electronic versions and a Web portal was created (http://gvrr.unesco.ru/) involving 109 ASPnet secondary schools. A map of the project area has been produced in both printed and electronic versions.

GVRR Activities:

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    • Creation of a Web portal at http://gvrr.unesco.ru/; 109 ASPnet secondary schools participated, of which 87 are registered on the Web portal
    • Twinning of schools and many activities have been implemented (national workshops, field trips to heritage sites, competitions, publications, exhibitions and presentations)
    • Development of innovative educational materials (including CD Roms) and methods to sensitize and mobilize youth from various countries to the process of exploration of the cultural and natural heritage in support of sustainable development of the Great Volga River Route - 40 specific projects have been launched (50% of which use ICTs)
    • Production of a booklet of selected World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves in both printed and electronic versions
    • Finalization of a map of the project area which will be produced in both printed and electronic versions