Presentation of the research seminar on the concept of Responsibility June 10, 2008, ANANURI, Georgia
FIRST RESULTS OF THE SEMINAR
The Georgian Charter group
Group of Ecological Initiatives from the Inorganic and Electrochemistry Chemistry Institute with:
The international association MOMAVALI
The regional school of Ananuri
The seminar was financed by the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH)
Organization Committee: Tsissana Chipachvili, Marina Avaliani, Anastacia Zakariadze, Maka Stamatelli, Tinatin Bochorishvili, David Mamatsachvili, Lali Mamisashvili.
Contact / Person in charge: Marina Avaliani / Tel. 995 32. 99 70 20 16/
Date: June 10, 2008
Place: Discussion Hall, School of Ananuri
Official languages: Georgian, French
Ecological Problems and Each Person’s Responsibility for Their Resolution; Ecological Disasters and Our Tasks for Their Prevention
Strong themes / Subjects to consider:
Responsibility and Society
The concept of Responsibility and Scientists
The concept of Responsibility and Education
A few experiences in European countries
Responsibility and Scale of Values
The speakers considered the following issues:
Tsisso Chipachvili, Coordinator of initiative group, presented the Charter of Human Responsibilities and explained the role of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation. After a brief presentation of the actions already taken in Georgia, there was a lively discussion with the participants. The school’s educators as well as the regional-administration officers showed great interest in education for responsibility; representatives of different NGOs spoke of their commitments and concerns, in particular about the anarchical introduction of genetically modified organisms.
Ina Ranson spoke of a few experiences in local development in Germany and in France. Among others, she presented the AMAP network (direct sales from farmers to consumers) and of exchange-network initiatives working with no money or sometimes thanks to the institution of social money. She will provide short texts that are useful for language professors.
The lively discussions turned up considerable matter to be thought about.
Marina Avaliani’s presentation covered the theme “Responsibility and Society, Responsibility in the Educational Field.” She spoke of the possibilities and means to act in order to build a bridge between science and social responsibility, and highlighted the need to change the former Soviet mentality. In her opinion, it is in the educational field that the keys lie to the democratic or economic development of society.
New generations could be trained much more effectively if new educational tools could be used: Modern books/booklets, video games, computer tools. Obviously, we need to "dream” of the modern and/or future possibilities of science…
But in our current reality, we need to act in a reasonable, concrete way, in a non-consumerist approach, an ecological approach, in a context of sustainable development, to carry out small local concrete actions. Awareness of the concept of responsibility is really a priority for today’s Georgia, especially in the field of ecology. We feel it is indispensable to educate for responsibility at the emotional and rational levels. We need to do it today, as tomorrow it might already be too late!
A lesson open to the young participants was a field trip to a small river, Jaxa, where a local ecological disaster is becoming obvious: in the middle of this large village, residents throw waste into the effluent of the large impoundment of the drinking water for Tbilisi.
After the discussions, the seminar participants made the decision to take several concrete steps:
set up a group of pupils that will launch local ecological initiatives: “We are responsible for the 21st century!”;
study experiences in European countries, with the help of the Georgian Charter group; Marina Avaliani will be the mediator and will send the material (educational tools being prepared by the Charter, booklets published in France and in Germany, ecological literature through the Internet);
introduce an educational course in the form of supplementary courses: “Human Responsibility: Protecting nature around us" – for the young pupils of Ananuri (in fact, the regional school of Ananuri is attended by pupils from 5 villages of the region).
The weeks after the seminar in Ananuri not only demonstrated vivid interest in the Charter of Human Responsibilities and in elaborating the concept of Responsibility, but also showed the effectiveness of the seminar in having improved understanding of the world that surrounds us.
The school educators as well as all the participants at the seminar express their warm thanks to the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for having financed the seminar. Discussion will continue and inspire concrete actions. Particular thanks also to Ina Ranson and Cyria Emelianoff, as well as to Tsisso Chipachvili, group coordinator, and Marina Avaliani, member of the group, chairwoman of the NGO Momavali and facilitator of the seminar.
FIRST RESULTS OF THE SEMINAR
Following the discussions and an analysis of the lessons drawn from the seminar, intention to collaborate was expressed, as well as to organize new multipliers (which will encourage discussion and considerations, and experiences from the developed countries), with:
1. The constitution at the end June of a "Initiative Group of Young Georgians for the circulation of the Charter in the region of Ananuri”
2. The "Georgia greens" – participants of the seminar, intend to be involved in one way or another in the circulation of the Charter and to participate in the ecological actions
3. Members of the international NGO Momavali also intend to contribute to the circulation of the Charter by spreading the discussion tools provided by our friends in France
4. Following a request of the young participants and also of the educators from the school of Ananuri, Marina Avaliani will introduce a supplementary educational course in the form of “open lessons" for the pupils: "Our responsibility to nature around us"
5. The young pupils who are members of the "Initiative Group of Young Georgians for the circulation of the Charter in the region of Ananuri,” following the seminar, offered to restore/renew a forgotten tradition that symbolized the sense of responsibility for Georgians: planting trees every fall in the large schoolyard as well as in uninhabited land; this could offset the terrifying situation of forest cutting in the region.