This morning the 22nd International Junior Eco-Expert Project started in our school. It means that for four days local students work together with other students coming from Cieszyn (Poland), Veseli (Czech Republic), Rakovice (Slovakia) and Yspertal (Austria).

We have 64 guests: 14 students and 2 teachers from each participating country, who work together with 14 local students and their teachers.

At the beginning of the day there was an opening session; then the participants made 7 groups, including a media group whose task is to help our guests and to document their daily programme.

The groups are the following:

Group 1 – Media

Group 2 – Tourism 1; active water tourism, including water sports

Group 3 – Tourism 2; modern water-based tourism

Group 4 – Biodiversity in the rivers and wetlands of Tokaj region

Group 5 – Sustainable backwater management – environmental protection vs. recreation

Group 6 – Water as a source of energy (including a visit to a water plant)

Group 7 – Sustainable water management in the region of Tokaj

Today every group had a different programme. They walked along the river Bodrog, went on a short cruise boat trip on the Bodrog and the Tisza, visited Hotel Mercure, examined a meadow and took water samples of the Bodrog, visited Gávavencsellő, made presentations and went cycling to Tarcal, a neighbouring village, where they visited the Oenological Research Institute.

After the lunch break the students visited an innovative visitor centre, ’floating houses’, took part on a field practice, while others collected data and found new ideas through brainstorming, and the ones who went to the Oenological Research Institute in Tarcal listened to lectures. Finally, before dinner, the foreign students took part in amazing team-building sport activities. This day was a perfect start of an exciting and promising week.

In our guests’ opinion, Tokaj is a unique town with an amazing neighbourhood where nature lovers can find anything they want: hills, forests, rivers and lots of other things, not to forget about culinary art. They claim that it is an important challenge to cope with the problems that occur when tourism develops in a region where ecological values are in great abundance. They are extremely happy about having the chance of studying Tokaj and its region and also being able to contribute to environmental sustainabilty in this area.