Why Earth Day will really be fun

Interactive educational sessions, matching wild animal tracks, adventure course, gastronomic nature trail and, for the first time, a presentation of Hungarian start-ups – visitors to the series of programmes on 21 and 22 April jointly celebrating Earth Day and the 6th Science Fest in the gardens of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest will not be disappointed.

At the press briefing preceding the events Minister of State for environmental affairs, agricultural development and hungaricums Zsolt V. Németh said on Wednesday that the aim of the Earth Day programmes was to draw attention to the state of the Earth, to promote environmental awareness, the preservation of biodiversity, the economical use of natural resources and the uses of recycled waste material.

He reminded that Earth Day was first celebrated on 21 March 1970, while Hungary joined the event in 1990 for the first time. Since 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture is holding a Science Fest in conjunction with the event. The series of events is under the general patronage of Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas and in the capital Budapest also that of Mayor István Tarlós.

Universities, colleges, research centres and various institutes affiliated with the ministry will be represented at the event. National parks will be presenting their ecotourism facilities, including workbooks and study aids used in forest school programmes. V. Németh said national parks are attracting more and more visitors every year: last year a million and a half people visited these in Hungary.

The Hungarian Meteorological Service will be flying a balloon equipped with a radiosonde, but those interested can also find out how to measure UV-B radiation at the OMSZ stall. Visitors will be able to learn about the inherent treasures of landscapes at the pavilion of the Herman Ottó Institute. For the first time this year national forestries will be also attending and sharing their knowledge of the flora and fauna of forests with the help of a programme including pairing wild animal tracks and species recognition. Children will have the chance to test their memory, creativity, practical and physical resilience at the FIRELIFE adventure course promoting forest fire prevention, while younger children can attend the “Waste is Valuable” presentation and educational session. The most beautiful kitchen gardens will also be on display.

110-year-old Magyar Gyula Horticultural Vocational School will be presenting flower decorations and the Museum and Library of Hungarian Agriculture will be focusing on legumes. A professional conference held at the Kossuth Klub will discuss, among others, the new Development Strategy for Hungarian Nature Parks.

Erzsébet Nagy, a managing director at the Hungarian National Trading House said a pavilion called Science Shop will make its début at the Science Fest and provide a venue for introducing 16 Hungarian start-ups on 21 April. Visitors can learn about various new developments in nanotechnology, a cyclist tracking and security system, a new 3D printer, a kitchen smell trap and a cloud-based agricultural system.

Péter Kovács, CEO of xLabs and a key organiser of the Startup Safari event said: “The entire start-up ecosystem of Budapest will open its doors at this 2-day event,” with 40 venues offering over 80 programmes. He highlighted the fact that co-founder of Electronic Arts and serial investor Jeff Burton will be an important guest in attendance.

Ádám Gyenes, director of TIT Kossuth Klub Egyesület said of the Science Fest series that the Science Shop pavilion was created with the aim of providing a new opportunity for young Hungarian entrepreneurs and talented youth to get exposure. The best start-ups will also receive a prize.


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