On 2 and 3 October, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk residents attended their first eco-weekend.
The campaign was held at the Gorny Vozdukh Complex as part of the I Am a Contribution to the Development of My Island partnership project, which is jointly implemented by Sakhalin Energy and the sports and tourism complex.
For the company, it was another opportunity to draw the attention of the community to the topical issue of environmental protection. Not only does Sakhalin Energy develop the environmental agenda within the framework of the corporate strategy – the company makes every effort to involve in it all enthusiasts who care about the environment, be it representatives of the population or organisations.
The featurette of one of the films shown at the eco-festival and, at the same time, an appeal to each of us, went like this: “Have you ever wondered what life on our planet might be like 20 years from now? Imagine what we would achieve if we used the best discoveries and technologies to solve existing problems! Everything depends only on us. And now have a glimpse into the new world.”
The programme of the eco-weekend was designed so that visitors could join in at any time of the day. Moreover, it included events for people of any age. For example, guests could visit the booth of EcoStar Technology, a partner of the project, to leave hazardous waste and learn how to properly dispose of used or expired cell batteries, electrical appliances or medicines. Another partner of the project – the Regional Scientific Library –presented a selection of books on environmental topics and held quizzes and quests aimed to instil respect for nature in visitors. The vendors from the Ecolavka booth offered guests tasty snacks and told them many new things about proper nutrition.
Film showings were the main item on the programme of the eco-weekend. The eco-poster announced six international films that raise topical environmental issues and suggest possible solutions. Film critic Ilya Shamazov, who was the in charge of the film programme, implemented in cooperation with the Festival of Contemporary Scientific Cinema, commented on the project: “Open-air shows are a new experience for me. The whole programme was designed for one hypothetical super viewer who could watch all films in a row. We started with a beautiful film about wildlife and biodiversity titled Earth: One Amazing Day, then moved on to films raising environmental problems. This block of films ended with a powerful statement by Academy Award-winning Louis Psychoias. Although it ends on a positive note, his Racing Extinction leaves a very bitter aftertaste from a vivid account of things that mankind is doing to planet Earth. The last two films were intended as a ray of hope. In Solutions, scientists discuss problems and look for ways out of the crisis. The film laconically titled 2040: Join the Regeneration fills us with optimism: everything is in our hands, so humanity has a chance. The main thing is not to miss it.”
In between the film showings, guests of the eco-weekend were invited to take part in collecting rubbish on the slopes of Bolshevik Mountain. One of the participants in the campaign – Milena, aged 8 – said that she had specifically come to clean the mountain; moreover, the girl had brought her mother to do likewise, because she was worried about the state of nature and was ready to do everything in her power to make the world around her better.
The presentation of a new audio guide – A Journey to the Bird World of Sakhalin, another idea suggested by Ilya Shamazov, was an educational point of the eco-programme. The text was written by Sakhalin Energy Lead Specialist, ornithologist Oleg Burkovskiy, and voiced by theatre and film actor Mikhail Sivorin. The half-hour story was read to the accompaniment of the trills of all kinds of birds living in the south of Sakhalin, including nutcrackers, which had nested on the middle site of the Gorny Vozdukh. The art object created by German Alkidny, a Sakhalin artist, has become not only a permanent decoration of the place, but also a symbol of eco-weekends. The main theme of the author’s work is birds. German explained why he had begun to paint nutcrackers and other feathered representatives of wildlife:
“The idea to paint this subject occurred to me during the pandemic as a response to the closure of borders and the feeling of total isolation, even imprisonment in the confined space of familiar surroundings. Birds are a symbol of freedom and expectation of a forthcoming journey. Only birds were able to cross the borders between countries when those were (and in many respects still are) insurmountable obstacles to travelling.”
All participants in the project are eager to continue it, so the first eco-weekend will definitely be repeated, which hopefully will become a good tradition.
4 October 2021