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Great Volga River Route

A new cross-cutting education project links ASPnet schools in 18 countries situated along the Great Volga River Route, a region with rich cultural and natural heritage. The project was launched by UNESCO at the International Workshop on the Cross-Cutting Project « The Great Volga River Route - Uniting the Seas (Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas) in favour of World Heritage Education for Sustainable Development with the support of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)” organized in close cooperation with the UNESCO Moscow Office, the Kazan Council of People’s Deputies and the International UNESCO Chair of the Academy of Management (TISBI), from 26-29 October 2004 at the National Cultural Centre “Kazan”.

The Volga is the longest river in Europe. In the Middle Ages, when waterways were vital for the interaction of civilizations, the Great Volga Route was a major transport artery of Eastern Europe, connecting the basins of the Baltic, Caspian, and Black Seas. In recent times, however, the Volga basin has suffered from the effects of accelerated industrialization and urbanization. Urgent action is required, in particular awareness-raising, mobilization and involvement of young people through improved quality education. As a symbol for connecting people, the river can now become the focus for renewed action.

The Great Volga River Route (GVRR) project will be implemented through ASPnet in the 18 countries along the Volga river and on the banks of the Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Iran, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. It will be carried out within the framework of the Young People’s Participation in the Preservation and Promotion of World Heritage Special Project. The UNESCO “World Heritage in Young Hands” Educational Resource Kit and the Education for Sustainable Development information briefs will be the project’s key reference materials.

The GVRR project aims to address issues and provide solutions to the UN Millennium Development Goals; to follow up the Johannesburg World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002; to carry out the final recommendations of the World Heritage Youth Forum, in Velikie Novgorod (Russian Federation) in 2002; to serve as a concrete contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and to explore and develop the effective use of ICTs to improve quality education. It is envisaged to set up a web portal for the systematic exchange of information created as well as the provision of ICTs and training to less equipped participating schools.

“This route will now become a new wake for exploring practical ways and means to integrate education for sustainable development, that is: development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ and ensure intercultural dialogue in our schools.”

The “Call of Kazan”, drafted by the Co-ordinators of ASPnet National Networks in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine .

Full text of the “Call of Kazan”, http://www.unesco.ru/files/docs/educ/call-kazan-rev.pdf

Plan of Action and Educational Framework for the GVRR Project:

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