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Youngsters learn about peatlands through film-making

Learning more about peatlands, especially in our own surroundings, may be attractive and helps to understand the environment where we live. LIFE Peat Restore provided a less traditional way of learning peatlands in Engure area in Latvia, in one of the project areas. The focus group was youngsters who live in nearby areas – Mērsrags and Engure and attend the local schools. In summer 2019, during two 2-day “Radi un rādi” (Create and Show) workshops they had an opportunity to explore the fens near Engure Lake, their history, biodiversity and role in nature under the supervision of LIFE Peat Restore peatland experts and to film the nature and the process. The film-making process was supervised by Jānis Dzilna (Modern Technologies Development Fund) and supported by youngsters from the Riga Art and Media School.

As a result, 20 short films were created and are available in Radi un Rādi Youtube channel, two of them are available for watchers both in Latvian and English. Most films are created in stop motion technique by youngsters themselves who created the story and its visual appearance, in most cases related to peatlands and Engure Lake, some of the films focus on other environmental topics. Two films (both in Latvian and English) focus on Engure fens and the film-making process during both workshops – stories that summarize the workshop experience.

The films have already gained large interest as they have thousands of views, most probably many of them are other youngsters, as the films are actively shared in social networks. Thus, we believe the workshops and the result helped not only the participants but also the film watchers to learn more about a less known topic in an attractive way through stories created by youngsters themselves.