The year of 2010 is declared by the UN organization as an International Year of Biodiversity. In this sense the 22nd of May is a special day, as this day the International Day of Biodiversity is celebrated throughout the world offering an opportunity for the public to focus its attention on this issue. Both the year and the day of biodiversity were also festive for us, the Armenian people.
The “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO /AWHHE/ together with the WWF-Armenia implemented the project “Save the Leopard in Armenia” supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and the WWF Swi tzerland.
The Project concluded with the event “Save the Leopard” dedicated to the Caucasian leopard – one of the rare mammals living in Armenia . The event took place in the Yerevan State Zoo. It looked like a fairy tale, very bright and multicolored, full of smile and happiness, where more than 200 children from 7 schools of the capital took part. The event was preceded with lectures on biodiversity conservation, particularly on preservation of Caucasian leopard. The lectures were organized by AWHHE during one month f or all the 8 th form pupils of the mentioned schools with the aim of helping the children understand the importance of biodiversity for the healthy and sustainable development of the Earth. A contest of handworks on the conservation of leopard was announced among the schoolchildren of the involved schools. By the end of the contest 142 handworks of talented schoolchildren were presented and the Special Commission which was comprised of professional artists and representatives from the WWF-Armenia and the AWHHE NGO made the assessment of the works. As a result of the contest, 25 pupils were awarded prizes of 5 categories. Moreover, all the children who participated in the event were given encouraging prizes.
The event was opened with welcome words of the Minister of Nature Protection, the Honorable Consul of Norway in Armenia , and the representative of the Education Department of the Yerevan city administration. Mrs. Elena Manvelyan, the President of the AWHHE NGO, on behalf of her organization expressed her gratitude to all those people and organizations that assisted in the organization of the event. The schoolchildren (140 pupils) from 7 schools took an active part in the contest games. As a result, the school N 176 was recognized as the winner of the competition.
The celebration would not be a real one without any songs and dances. Due to nice songs, dances and a theatrical performance the event became a real festival . Everybody was in high spirits and the smile was hovering over the faces of both the grown-ups and the young. Flags were waving and multicolor balloons were flying in the air, the colors of which were appropriate to the colors of the schoolchildren’s T-shirts. A big balloon with a picture of a leopard was let out to the air and at that moment each participant looking at the sky held a big dream a bout the cloudless future for the leopards when they won’t be t h reatened with extinction, they will come to Armenia and never go away, they will stay, multiply and live for ever.
Healthy Environment for Our Children – Healthy Generation for Armenia