Organized by IDEA Public Union and Association of Scouts of Azerbaijan (ASA) and supported by Azerbaijan Youth Foundation an eco-scout camp named “At the Crossroad of Nature”was held in Shahdag National Park on 17-19 July 2019.
Being part of IDEA’s Eco-scout program, the camp aimed to install a lifelong interest in environmental stewardship and ethics in young people, inform them about the rich nature and vulnerable fauna and flora of Azerbaijan and promote sustainable use of natural resources, while providing a real nature experience without bringing damage to it.
The camp gathered 100 young people, aged 18-25, who are pursuing environmental field studies or have experience in related fields.
During the camp, participants toured the national park and learned about the park's main activity, its landscape, endangered species listed in the Red Book of Azerbaijan and the bison recently reintroduced to Azerbaijan from the French and Belgium zoos.
Throughout the three-day camp, campers were given training sessions on national parks and the biodiversity of Azerbaijan, instructions on setting up a tent, first aid, as well as hiking checklist and safety essentials in hiking gear. Moreover, campers were engaged in various practical training activities, games, competitions and debates on a range of environmental issues.
Hiking to the mountaintop of the marvelous Garanohur lake (1,540 masl) was organized on the second day of the camp.
On the closing day, participants were given participation certificates and memorial gifts.
IDEA Eco-scout project was launched in March of 2017. The project is a great opportunity for young people to engage in environmental issues, find solutions to the most pressing challenges that threaten our planet and become a leader of this environmental movement. First camp within the project was organized last year in Shirvan and, later on, in Aghgol and Goygol national parks.
Aiming to spread environmental awareness and promote responsible treatment of the environment, the Eco-scout camp is planned to take place in other national parks of the country as well.