27 • 11 • 2017

Golden Cones for Education

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The 14th Annual Forestry Awards "Zelta Čiekurs" (Golden Cone) will be presented to people whose daily work has brought significant achievements, contributed to the development of the forestry sector and promotion of its sustainability. JSC "Latvia's State Forests" (LVM) School Education Programme and work by Kaspars Riže, LVM Senior Forest Expert, have been nominated for the catogory "Contribution to Public Education".

"Knowledge is gold. Forest is Latvian gold. We are happy to show and explain forestry processes to children and young people in a language that they understand. We are even ready to show them how a strong and beautiful forest can grow from tiny cone seeds. Thanks to efficient and sustainable forest management, observing and perfecting the traditions of our ancestors, the future value of forest is enhanced. We are happy that with each passing year, public understanding of the processes taking place in the forest is growing, and the number of those families increases who prefer to take a walk in fresh air enjoying our landscaped recreational facilities and forest trails all over Latvia," says Tomass Kotovičs, Head of LVM Communication Unit.

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Together with our partners in the Latvian and European forest sector, LVM has been offering environmental education in Latvian schools already since 2005. Classes are based on the international environmental education programme "Learning about Forest", which has been implemented in more than 20 countries all over the world. LVM in cooperation with the National Centre for Education offers various educational materials and educational leaflets created as a result of cooperation between educators and industry experts. LVM also holds exciting and educational excursions, hiking tours for people of different age groups. Pre-school kids, university students and educators - everyone has the opportunity to go to Latvia's state forests and supplement the knowledge acquired at school with practical tasks in nature. Every year, more than 20 thousand children, school students and teachers learn about forest in the diverse school programmes offered by LVM.

Kaspars Riže, Marja Gustafsson from Sweden and LVM School Education Programme implemented by Līga Abizāre, Anda Sproģe, Kaspars Riže and Tomass Kotovičs have been nominated for the category “Contribution to Public Education”.

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The Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to five outstanding industry representatives: Juris Emsiņš, Jānis Smilga, Arnis Vairis Balodis, Dainis Blūmentāls, Jānis Uzulis.

SIA "Amber Wood" (Jaunsvirlauka Rural Territory, Jelgava Municipality), LVM Mazsili Nursery (Abava Rural Territory, Talsi Municipality) and SIA "Rīgas Krēslu fabrika" (Riga) have been singled out for the nomination "Innovative Entrepreneurship".

Forest owners Māris Bērziņš from Ciecere Rural Territory, Kārlis Martinsons from Limbaži Rural Territory and Guntis Vībāns from Zasa Rural Territory are the laureates in the nomination "Sustainable Management".

The winners of the Annual Awards "Innovative Entrepreneurship", "Contribution to Public Education" and "Sustainable Management" will be announced in the Awards Ceremony, this year to be held at Vidzeme Concert Hall "Cēsis" on 1 December.

The evaluation of candidates is arranged by the Ministry of Agriculture, and it takes place in two rounds. In the first round, candidates are evaluated by experts, and in the second round - by the Forest Days Committee, led by the Minister for Agriculture.