"Russian Regional Environmental Centre can play an important role in raising attention towards environmental issues and strengthening environmental civil society"

Margot Wallstrцm, EU Commissioner on environment in 1999-2004

Media-project 'The Melting Snow Queen and Other New Andersen Fairy Tales'

Climate change and the search for effective global answer to this challenge have become the top-priority issues on the international agenda. Attention of the world community is focused now on the on-going international negotiations on a new post-2012 agreement.

Although, Russian general public still has low awareness on climate change, the urgent need for countermeasures, existing capacity for mitigation and adaptation options, development of sustainable energy solutions and relevant international activities. One of the reasons is poor coverage of these issues in Russia.

The overall purpose of project 'The Melting Snow Queen and Other New Andersen Fairy Tales' implemented in 2009-2010 by the Russian Regional Environmental Centre, Danish and British embassies in Moscow, and ROCKWOOL company was to increase awareness and draw attention of the Russian general public to the climate change challenge, its place on the international agenda and, specifically, the UN meeting in Copenhagen, the need for further ambitious actions to reduce human impact on climate, including minimizing personal "carbon footprint".

The project envisaged the following activities:
1. Contest on climate change for readers of the "Moskovsky Komsomolets" (MK) newspaper

The contest was announced by 'the Moskovsky Komsomolets', one of the major daily news editions in Russia (circulation over 2 mln) on 20 October, 2009. Those, who wished to participate in the contest, should have answered three questions and sent a brief essay on what could happen with our planet and Russia in particular in 50 years, if global temperature increases up to 2 degrees Celsius and above. Eventually, about 180 applications were received from 80 cities of Russia and other countries of the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
15 winners were awarded prizes from the organisers. The names of the first three prizes winners were published in a 'MK' newspaper on 3 December, 2009 (4 days before Copenhagen).

2. Contest of 'New Andersen Fairy Tales' on climate change topic for readers of the "Komsomolskaya Pravda" (KP) newspaper

In early November 'New Andersen's Fairy Tales’ Contest was started under the auspices of the 'Komsomolskaya Pravda' ('KP') – an influencing and popular newspaper/magazine in Russia (circulation of 1 million copies and also through this paper/magazine's web-site). The 'KP' readers should have sent their new versions of the fairy-tale written by famous Danish story-teller Hans-Christian Andersen. New characters appeared in a modern age of global climate change.
The contest task was accompanied with a media story in order to give an overview of the issue and provide information on the forthcoming climate change negotiations.
All interested were sending their applications during a month. The jury was chaired by Per Carlsson, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark in Russia, and artist Boris Diodorov, a special Ambassador of Hans-Christian Andersen in Russia. The names of 5 winners and the best stories were announced at the end of December, 2009 in 'KP' and at its web-site www.kp.ru.

3. Fly-cards with ‘New Andersen Fairy Tales' characters

Two different types of fly-cards ('Little Mermaid' and 'Ole Lukoe') dedicated to famous Andersen fairy-tales' characters, who found themselves in a new age of climate change, were developed and distributed in three cities of Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. The cards contained an important message 'Climate Change is not a Fairy-tale'.

The project attracted great attention of Russian general public to climate change and its impacts on common people and the environment, as well as to possible ways how to reduce GHG emissions and individual "carbon footprint".

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