“Caring for the common good brings people closer together”

Awarding of winners of competitions at the presentation in Olsztyn.

Photo: from the archives of the “Istok” foundation.

State borders cannot stop the flow of rivers or the migration of birds, just as people’s love for the nature of their native land knows no barriers. The organizers and participants of the “Nature without Borders” project, implemented by the “Istok” Foundation with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund, are sure of this.

The nature of the Kaliningrad region and the neighboring Pomeranian and Warmińsko-Mazurian voivodeships in Poland have a lot in common. These are rivers and reservoirs, the Kaliningrad (Vistula) Bay and the Baltic (Vistula) Spit, the Romintskaya Pushcha and, of course, the Baltic Sea. Therefore, the main idea of ​​the project implies the convergence of people living on both sides of the border in understanding the value and need to preserve the surrounding nature for our common good.

The Nature Without Borders project includes a number of important events. So, the photographers drove and walked a total of more than 9 thousand kilometers to photograph cross-border natural sites in Poland and Russia! Specialists and scientists of our countries have prepared the materials necessary for the publication of the book and the creation of an Internet resource. The information collected as a result is available to anyone on the site of the Istok Foundation in the section “TRANSBOUNDARY NATURAL OBJECTS”.

Competitions have become an important component of the project. In the creative competition, 53 young authors from border regions presented 44 thematic posters and 17 videos – the best of them can be seen by clicking on the link.

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And 198 participants from Russia and Poland took part in the photo competition on the KLOPS portal. The 1412 photographs they presented aroused great public interest – 13 130 people took part in the online voting. Photos are available on the KLOPS website https://fotokonkurs.klops.ru/. The winners received valuable prizes, and the best works made up the exposition of exhibitions in Kaliningrad, Gdansk and Olsztyn. Residents of Bagrationovsk, Baltiysk, Mamonovo, Nesterov, Ozersk and Pravdinsk will also be able to see these interesting photographs from November to May.

Educational institutions and libraries of the Kaliningrad region and Polish border voivodeships now have a collection of Russian-Polish cross-border natural objects published in two languages, the circulation of which was donated to them. The book is available in electronic form on the Istok Foundation website in the BOOKS section.

The results of the questionnaire survey of the project participants and the sociological survey conducted among them turned out to be very indicative. When asked to assess how important such events are in terms of attracting the attention of the population to the problems of the region’s ecology, the following responses were received: “This is a good tool to motivate people. Colorfully, understandably, interesting “,” Look at such a publication about your village, and once again you will clean up the garbage. ” The proposal to evaluate the importance of such projects from the point of view of the development of good-neighborly relations between people has caused no less responses. Among them was this:

“Any common work is a reason for communication, an opportunity to better understand each other. This is especially important now that the pandemic has closed borders. Caring for the common good is also a factor that brings people together. “

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Partners of the “Nature without Borders” project:

Russian House in Gdansk

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Kaliningrad Region

Natural Park “Vishtynetsky”

Administration of the city district “City of Kaliningrad”

Media group “Western Press”

Kaliningrad State Technical University

Kaliningrad Regional Children and Youth Center for Ecology, Local History and Tourism

Kaliningrad Branch of the Union of Wildlife Photographers

Eco-Transport College, Gdynia

Museum of Folk Architecture – Ethnographic Park in Olsztynek

Kaliningrad Zoo

Landscape park “Romintskaya Pushcha”

Fashion for Warmia and Mazury Foundation

Department of East Slavic Literature of the Institute of Literary Studies of the Warmia and Mazury University in Olsztyn.

Special thanks to:

Border Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Kaliningrad region

National Park “Curonian Spit”

Museum of the World Ocean

Kaliningrad Regional History and Art Museum.

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