Scambi, corsi, seminari/Short-term projects, seminari/short-term projects, Vicolocorto

Peacebuilding, youth work and Environment – A Study Visit in Pesaro

We have just hosted the project “Youth Advisory Board for Peace” In Pesaro from Sep 6th to Sep 13th 2022. The project was funded by Erasmus+ programme and involved 21 representatives of Organisations and NGO from Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine in a 3-year course with the aim of training new generations of youth workers through paths of training in Active Citizenship and Peace Education.

The content of the project touched topics such as art, environment, culture, urban development, sport and their link with the youth field. In particular the aim was to show local best practices of fruitful collaboration among Vicolocorto and local partners specialized in those fields.

Regarding “Environment and Youth Field” we visited the San Bartolo’s Regional Park, a reality we have collaborated with for more than 10 years already organizing workshops for young people. We met Laurent Sonet, zoologist of the Nature and Environmental Service.

San Bartolo’s Park focuses on the park’s fauna and flora. It is situated between the Adriatic sea and a nearby highway, stretching from Pesaro to Gabicce Mare. There is a high biodiversity in the park and we had the opportunity to get to know a little more in depth some of the species that live in the park as well as to learn some curiosities about other animals that live on the Pesarese coast.

Laurent mentions that there are some prejudices against some of the animals living in the park, for example the wolf, the bat, the snake and the shark. Laurent mentions that this prejudice stems from ignorance and lack of information on the one hand, and on the other hand, a bad historical reputation, which may have been justified in the past, but today continues to perpetuate the rejection of these species. 

The wolf returned to the park 3 years ago, after years of absence. That means that the park has a rich ecosystem, so the food chain is complete. 

Oleksandra from Ukraine says:

“The wolf is a cultural symbol of night and death in (Western) European culture, and has a bad reputation as a dangerous killer which is not true in this case”. 

The nature preserve is also home to a lot of bats, who are important for the ecology of the park. When bats are around means that the air is clean. Bats can greatly reduce the population of mosquitoes and other bothersome insects such as moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, midges, and mayflies. A single bat can consume more than 1,200 mosquito-sized insects per hour, usually eating 6,000 to 8,000 bugs each night!

Sharks are also appearing in our coast from time to time, also the big white one. Regardless the common fear about them, sharks are not attracted by human and they have their hunting area and it is when humans enter this area that the situation becomes dangerous. Every year only 10 people die because of sharks and do you know what is the most dangerous animal in the world for humans? The mosquito!!!

Indeed, mosquitoes kill more humans than any other animal because of the malaria virus. The second animal in the list is the human itself, and the third one is the dog.

The park invests lots in education to inform locals about the reality of the dangers of the animals. The workshops are used to inform people about the animals they don’t like, fear or disgust, to let them learn about them and appreciate them. 

“When you have an expert who has researched and has a particular interest in an animal, which means that he or she somehow loves the animal and understands the primitive behavior, it results in an empathetic and comprehensive explanation and description” (Laurent, S).

The direct interaction with animals is obvious and less obvious is the importance of flora. We know about the role they play when it comes to cleaning the air capturing the CO2 and turning it into oxygen but, we also got to know, for example, how trees communicate between them through the roots. They advise each other when some sort of animal eats their leaves so they can modify the acidity of its leaves in order to defend itself.

The educational program of San Bartolo’s Regional Park is addressed to kids, youngsters and families, is funded by the regional government of Pesaro e Urbino and is free of charge.

From time to time they organize activities and workshops to inform people about ecological challenges for the region and the nature preserve. It was interesting to be able to have another point of view, understand the importance of having a deeper knowledge of the local fauna and flora, which is essential to interact and cohabit in a healthy and respectful way.

“It was nice and informative to learn about shark and bat behavior features. We liked to learn from someone’s real experience. We appreciate Laurent Sonet’s work in the field of informing children and other people in this region and we were excited to see real examples of animals that were disgusting from the first sight, and changed our stereotypes about these creatures”(Armine, Anush, Lilit e Oleksandra). 



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