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Author:  Ottens A.P., Tsyrenova M.G.
Source:  Water quality and traditions in Lake areas: The 6-th Living Lakes Conference Ulan-Ude, Lake Baikal, Russia July 30-th – August 3-rd, 2001. – Ulan-Ude, 2001. – P. 79-80

Recently a tendency to resurrect the folk ecological traditions can be observed. The people begin to understand, and become anxious, that excessive use of the nature by humans can cause response, harmful for humanity, or, in other words - an ecological crisis.
The nature of the Baikal lake region, declared as the world natural heritage region, exemplifies a complex system, being formed during a long historical period. Rich diversity of flora and fauna, unique landscapes, a combination of various vegetation zones- steppes, meadows, mountain tundra and alpine meadows - all this gave rise to ancient traditions and experience of harmonic relations between the man and the nature.
The modern world, however, is rather described by rapid desc-truction of natural ecosystems as a result of intense anthropogenic impact. We do not notice that, by destroying nature, we destroy moral and ethical foundations of our society. The return to ideas of traditional pedagogy is perhaps an important step to shaping the ecological con-sciouseness of future generations. The ancient Buryat religion taught children to save and protect forest resources, and this fostered an inspired attitude to nature. Various mobile games made nature closer to children, and at the same time taught them to treat nature in a proper and caring way. Thus the wisdom of our ancestors contains huge ecological potential.
The pedagoges of the preschool education of our city realize the urgent necessity of formation of understanding the relation between the peoples and nature of the native region in children. Folk festivals,
such as the festival of the White Moon, Maslennitsa, Easter, Surkharban, have been colorfully and attractively staged in local kindergartens, with many folk games.
Thanks to this the children are taught to analyze the natural phenomena and their interrelations, and they develop a desire to interact with nature. In our opinion, the game is an optimal way of familiarizing and accustomizing the children with nature and traditions of their people. In this respect, exemplary is the experience of the teachers of the kindergarten »Sadko", who developed the program of game instruction on the theme »Cedar is the Pearl of Siberia". Aided by interesting games, the children are acquainted with great pleasure with the nature of the native region.
We are the owners of the unique lake Baikal. However this understanding is not typical for young children, regardless of how often one stresses its uniqueness. Only the systematic approach to ecological education can bring the desired result. Together with the kindergarten teachers we have developed and tested a program of ecological games for pre-school children, implementation of which assists in their developing of integral perception of the surrounding world. The games offered to children allow them to perceive the diversity of nature, its vulnerability and the necessity of its preservation. The investigations showed positive dynamics in formation of environmental concepts in children, which lays at the ground of development of the ecological culture. The success in the latter is layed out during the first ten years of a child's life, therefore this task shold be considered as a preventive measure in solving the ecological problems facing the humanity.

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