🍃🏞️ Over 50 students took part in an innovative camp dedicated to the climate. They are from several Burgas high schools: Goethe High School, Geo Milev High School, Professional High School of Mechanical Engineering, Professional High School of Architecture and Civil Engineering “Kolyo Ficheto,” Trade High School, Sredets Community Center, and foreign students from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski.”

🍃 Students from the specialty “Geospatial Systems and Technologies” at the Faculty of Geology and Geography and PhD students from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” also participated in the initiative. Representatives of the “Transformation for Europe” NGO were also involved. Doctoral students from universities in Katowice, Alicante, and Trieste also participated.

💚 They all had the opportunity to hear the story of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stelian Dimitrov, director of the National Center for Geospatial Science and Technologies. He focused on digital twins and their role in the effective adaptation of the urban environment to climate change. Assoc. Prof. Dimitrov touched on current topics such as digital transformation, intelligent regions, environmental transformation, and sustainability.

💚 In one of the rooms of the Burgas library, the complex scientific material turned into a comprehensible story about the origin of life on Earth and the future climate scenarios, which depend on human activity. The role of scientists in this process is to provide enough data for sustainable planning of each territory.

💚 After the lecture on drones, the room in the library became tight, and the participants in the innovation camp, organized by the Municipality of Burgas, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski,” and Junior Achievement Bulgaria, headed to Lake Atanasovsko. The date is September 27, and the wind in the area is moderate to strong. The climate lesson on-site is that drones cannot fly in such gusts. But there is still an opportunity to gather data for three-dimensional mapping of the area. The young people used a special device to survey a plot of the shore. They enjoyed beautiful views while absorbing the knowledge at the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation center about the richest bird spot in Bulgaria, with the largest deposits of therapeutic mud in the country and the highest yield of sea salt.

💚 While the impressions of what they learned and saw are still fresh, the young people received their first challenge from the mentors of Junior Achievement. Divided into eight teams of five to six people, they had the task of developing an innovative business project that would fit sustainably into the area around Lake Atanasovsko. The next day, the young people gathered in a hall on the shore of the fishing village Chengene. An ideal place for inspiration. It itself is the result of the desire to apply nature-based and green solutions. Mixed teams of students and doctoral students received a laptop, a business model template, and a few hours to shape their presentation of ideas.

💚 The results were not late. In the early afternoon of September 28, the young people briefly and enthusiastically presented their innovative projects for Lake Atanasovsko. There were small camps in line with the biodiversity of the protected area, walking and cycling tours with a guide, the creation and promotion of products with sea salt, theatrical scenes, wooden paths for walking and bird watching, and even a golf course in symbiosis with the natural features. In the short “intermission” between the presentations, the wind subsided, and the weather allowed demonstrations with the lifting of drones. A team from the National Center for Geospatial Science and Technologies conducted on-site demonstrations and training for collecting geodata from unmanned aerial vehicles and steps for processing, analysis, and geovisualization of data for sustainable planning, taking into account climate characteristics and changes.

💚 For the more curious, animator Gosho Chicago told in an attractive way the story of the Black Sea and its biodiversity.

🍃♻️🏞️ The two-day Innovation Camp concludes. But the work of the Municipality of Burgas with young people, with active representatives of the urban community, and the development of plans for an urban transition to achieve climate neutrality continue. This is just the beginning of the Re-Value project, funded under the “Horizon Europe” program. It aims to support the efforts of European regions in the processes of adapting and minimizing the impact of climate change by implementing large-scale demonstration activities with transboundary significance.

Translation: Simona Veleva

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