Secretary-General meets children inspired to conserve Black Sea ecosystems

May 19, 2013

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a school in Sochi, Russia, where children take part in a project run by the UNDP–Coca-Cola initiative ‘Every Drop Matters’. Photo: Eskinder Debebe/UN

Sochi – During a visit to Sochi in southern Russia yesterday, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has met teachers and secondary school students who are using the ‘Black Sea Box’ to learn about protecting the Black Sea.

The Black Sea Box is an interactive environmental education kit, produced and distributed by Every Drop Matters – a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and The Coca-Cola Company.

The Black Sea Box targets two million school children in the coastal cities of the countries around the Black Sea.

The education kit has already been rolled-out in Turkey, Ukraine and Russia. The Russian version was launched in Sochi at the annual Black Sea Action Day celebration in October 2012.

The Black Sea Box contains over 50 games and a comprehensive teacher's manual. The games are the heart of the Box – designed so that the children enjoy themselves while learning.

During Ban Ki-moon’s visit, students played a game that showed how all the Black Sea countries working together is the way to protect Black Sea ecosystems.

According to the Secretary-General, the global community should put water conservation as a top priority. “We have to protect water, both for the health and well-being of people and for the future of our planet,” he said while when addressing students and teachers.

The Secretary-General also underscored the importance of good education for national wealth and for developing truly global citizens. “You live in Sochi, Russia, but you should also think of yourselves as global citizens, caring about our common planet,” he said.

The Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, and his deputies, as well as officials from the Sochi Department of Education, briefed the Secretary-General on upgrades to the city’s education system as part of preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics which will take place in Sochi.

The event took place during the Secretary-General’s official visit to Russia where he met with President Putin and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss the political and peace-keeping agenda.

At Expo 2012, in Yeosu, Republic of Korea, the Black Sea Box was recognised as one of 11 projects showing global best practice on water. Partners involved in developing the Box included WWF-Turkey and UNDP, working in collaboration with the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (the Black Sea Commission, or BSC).

Every Drop Matters is among the UNDP water initiatives being featured during the 2013 UN International Year of Water Cooperation.

Contact information

Natalia Olofinskaya, Head of the UNDP Project Support Office in Russia,
Sandy Williams, Communications Specialist, Every Drop Matters,

UNDP Around the world