WETLANDS: THE MOST ENDANGERED AND MOST PRECIOUS ECOSYSTEMS In Slovene, the roots of the word wetland (močvirje) are: moč: POWER and vir: SOURCE, this indicates that this is a place that is a source of power. From an economic point of view, wetlands have little value, so they are filled with concrete and destined to become industrial zones. In the last hundred years, we have destroyed up to 90% of wetlands in Europe. These, the Earth's most vulnerable ecosystems are important as air conditioners in managing climate change, providing drinking water supplies and purifying and enriching groundwater. Wetlands are the most biologically diverse and varied ecosystems. In the language of soul, wetlands are cauldrons of power that enhance our creativity and help maintain our inner balance. Wetland is an entry into the emotional underworld. Into the muddy subconscious. Into suffocating depths and fertile luxuries. In scary and sticky, slimy and bloody, but at the same time ecstatic and freshly born. It can be seen as stagnant, full of insects, or bubbling, teeming with life. However, here where the water mixes with soil so thickly, all things, star sparks, bright ideas and dreams get shape. This is where Life begins to manifest.
We live in the immediate vicinity of the wonderful Blate Mlake wetland ecosystem. The place is not ours, but we are his. To live deeply connected to the Earth means to live imbued with the power of the place, whatever it is, and to belong to it. Our wetland accepted us. The dynamics of its ecosystem are reflected in our works, way of life, creativity and challenges. Belonging to a place also means accepting responsibility and standing up for it. In 2015, we established a Civil Initiative for the protection of this area, and it took seven years for the procedures to be initiated and we are on the verge of the realisation of our wetland gaining the status of protected area. We want to empower individuals who value their local environment, help them to stand up for it, become its guardians, or just someone who lets the power of the place through them and thus becomes something much more. We gladly help with advice on how to establish a civil initiative, how to find arguments for protection, who to cooperate with, who to turn to... all this and more, we are happy to help all those who have a desire and love for their place, but do not know how or think they are helpless.
ERASMUS+ MOBILITY OF YOUTH WORKERS TRAINING ABOUT THE USE OF STORYTELLING IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN THE CASE OF WETLAND In our deep ecology association from Slovenia, Terra Anima, we have joined forces with partners from North Macedonia (SFERA), Hungary (Ecoservice) and Croatia (Laboratorij Zabave). In June of 2022, we carried out a mobility of youth workers training, this was on the subject of the use of storytelling for the purpose of wetland environmental education and awareness raising. We embarked upon a journey in which we wanted to learn how to strengthen people's relationship to wetlands with the help of the art of storytelling. So, our purpose was simple: To awaken people's love for wetlands. And we succeeded! The result of our training is an educative, practical and inspiring e-book which tells of the importance of stories for nature education and brings practical activities for learning about wetlands with the help of storytelling. As we want to spread the message of the importance of the wetlands and the power of stories that inspire love and encourage their protection as wide as possible, the book is free.



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