THE “NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND I” PROGRAM

Six Yerevan Schools Complete AUA Acopian Center for the Environment’s “Natural Environment and I” Program

YEREVAN, Armenia – On Monday, June 8, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment and Yerevan Municipality completed their first year of cooperation on the “Natural Environment and I” program. A completion ceremony was held at the Yerevan Zoo.

The program allowed more than 120 middle and high school students from 6 schools throughout Yerevan to participate in interactive courses and discussions on a wide variety of environmental topics, including human impact on the planet through agriculture, use of water and non-renewable energy, solid waste generation, and more.

“We also focused on positive solutions and approaches that minimize negative human impacts,” said Marine Asatryan, the Environmental Education and Youth Projects Coordinator of the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. “We talked about renewable energy, recycling, conservation, proper treatment of wastewater, reduced use of toxic chemicals, and much more.”

The aim of the program is to encourage students to develop a broad appreciation of local, regional, and global environmental issues. The program also aims to empower students by developing their capabilities in addressing some of these challenges either as individuals or as a group.

The program was based on voluntary participation of students from six schools selected by the Municipality. Participating schools included numbers 56, 137, 155, 31, 173 and 87.

This is the third year the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment is working with schools in Yerevan on the “Natural Environment and I” program, however, it is the first year that the Center has cooperated with the Yerevan Municipality to deliver the program to public schools.

“Our expectations were greatly surpassed with this program. The enthusiasm and active engagement of many of the students, teachers, and the school administrators was very high,” said Alen Amirkhanian, Director of the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. “This reinforces our commitment to continue this program in the coming years.”

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (AUA ACE) is a research center of the American University of Armenia. AUA ACE promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. AUA ACE’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment.

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