13.11.2008 - Forest-Themed Travelling Exhibition Begins Tour in Tallinn 04.10

Opening on Thursday, 13 November, at the Tallinn trade fair centre, is the educational and unique travelling exhibition, “Footprint in the Forest,” which seeks a balance between the protection and use of forests, to which upper secondary schools students and all others interested in the natural environment are invited. The State Forest Management Centre (RMK) invested EEK 640 000 in the preparation of the exhibition; expenditures on all activates targeted at promoting education about the natural environment and forests were MEEK 2.8 this year.

During the first leg of the exhibition, winter, the exhibit will pass through, in addition to Tallinn, the other major Estonian cities of Tartu, Narva and Jüri. The assembly of the exhibition took 10 cubic metres of the environmentally friendly material wood, seasoned on the stump; 24 volunteers assisted in the preparation of the exhibition.

According to the Minister of the Environment, Jaanus Tamkivi, the share of people going to the forest more than once a year is indeed 89%, which is a relatively high figure compared to the rest of Europe; despite which, not a lot is known about the forest. “It is also problematic that people value both wood as fuel and consumables manufactured of wood, yet in order to produce these items no-one wants to fell trees in a forest,” Tamkivi added, while also adding that often there is the misconception that forests are not managed in a sustainable manner in Estonia.

The interactive exhibition, which is 11 x 26 metres in size, has been assembled by the Nature Management Department of RMK, and according to Marge Rammo, head of the department, the aim of the assembly of the travelling exhibition has been to introduce different options for growing and using forests, to shape people's understanding of the importance of the rational management of the forest. “The exhibition focuses on human activity or inactivity in the forest, seeks balance and provides a hypothetical picture of the extremes in the management of forests,” Rammo noted.

Seen from above, the exhibition is like a human footprint, where all five toes and the heel area demarcate various aspects and groups of problems in forest management, like timber export, government revenue from timber and forest products, the topic of protected and protection forests and the importance of a prudent attitude toward the forest. “In the same way a person leaves a footprint when taking a step, and each part of the heel leaves an impact of varying degrees, each of our activities, too, or our inactivity, more often than not, leaves its own footprint in the forest. Our task is to preserve the growing environment of forests so that future generations, too, could use and enjoy the various assets of the forest,” Rammo explained.

According to Rammo, there is plenty to view at the exhibition; it is possible there to view educational films about the natural environment and slide shows, solve a puzzle problem and play an exciting game of blocks.

The exhibition is open from 10.00 to 18.00, Tuesday to Sunday, and admission is free to all those interested:
• Tallinn: 13-23 November 2008, Building A, 1st Floor, Estonian Fairs Ltd, Trade Fare Centre, Pirita tee 28
• Tartu: 28 November-14 December 2008, Hall C, Tartu Trade Fare Centre, Kreutzwaldi 60
• Türi: 5-15 February 2009, Türi Majandusgümnaasium, Tolli 62
• Narva: 12 March-5 April 2009, Narva College of Tartu University, Kerese 14.

For those interested, registration information on group visits from schools is available at wwweng.rmk.ee/jalgmetsas. Guided tours for school groups are conducted from 10.00-17.00, Tuesday-Friday, starting every half hour and on the hour. A group visit takes approximately 1.5 hours and the maximum group size is 15 people.

RMK is a profit-making state agency, founded by virtue of the Forest Act and its principal function is to manage state forests economically and effectively. In addition, RMK creates opportunities for forest recreation in Estonia’s state forests and shapes awareness about the natural environment.

Further information:
Marge Rammo
Head of the Nature Management Department of RMK
Telephone +372 676 7530, +372 513 7035
E-mail marge.rammormk.ee