In August 2016, from 15th till 26th, 30 young people from 6 different countries gathered for 10 days in the Sharr mountain for a Youth exchange called “Nature connecting us”. During their stay, they exchanged their ideas of nature and explored inspiring natural and cultural places like lakes, different landscapes, monasteries, mosques, roman sites and Peja where Anibar festival was taking place with short animated movies about climate change. In addition to that, they got to know a bit about the biodiversity of Sharr (which got its name after colorfullness/diversity) from an expert and they had plenty of time to reflect on human impact on this mountain as well as on nature in general.
Participants exchanged realities and traditions from different countries and what’s more important, they shared inspiration and motivation between themselves to make a change. We had sessions outside so that we can connect with nature and discussed how different sectors such as state, NGOs, institutions have different roles and impact on the Sharr National Park. A special emphasis was put on the issue of management of the Sharr National Park and continuing degradation of nature that is happening in this area, which is legally protected.
After days of learning and sharing our experiences, participants wanted to do something to make a change. Ideas of all kinds were present and in the end we made some smaller projects. Few got the idea to make murals and striking messages about nature around the ski resort in Brezovica, while others wanted to make movies about the danger that Sharr mountain is facing, so once again we split ourselves into different groups. One group wrote a position paper for media and it was published by a couple of newspapers.
PRIZREN POST: Parku kombëtar i Sharrit i lënë në harresë
GAZETA TRIBUNA: Parku kombëtar i Sharrit i lënë në harresë
We also made a movie about Sharr with quotes of its situation that we got from local community.
One group decided to work on the long-term project for protection of Sharr mountain that was developed in the training course. This group made a plan to create a sustainable festival in Brezovica, where there’s a ski resort, but in summer when everybody forgets about this beautiful mountain that is more than just snow. Some participants that were good with social media and internet decided to put more information about all year long sustainable tourism in Sharr, such as hiking and enjoying different landscapes. And of course, one group wanted to make the place nicer so they painted concrete walls and wrote inspiration quotes on them about nature.
By the end of our Youth exchange on the peaks of Sharr mountain, everybody wanted to stay longer and do more for this amazing place, so we will continue our work there.
SHARR IS MORE THAN SNOW!
this project is supported by Erasmus+ program of the European Union