Young Citizens for Water
On November 28-29, a number of the PEPs took part in ECO-UNESCO’s Young Citizens for Water two day national youth meeting. The event aimed to provide young people with the opportunity, not only to learn more about global water issues, but to engage in peer discussions and have a platform for their voices and opinions to be heard. Over the two days, the PEPs involved took part in a number of interactive workshops and learned about, discussed and explored water related issues including; access, supply and importance, both nationally and internationally of adequate water resources. They also engaged with a number of environmental experts such as representatives from the EPA and the Department of the Environment in a speed networking session. Here the young participants raced against the clock to query and challenge the experts in an effort to learn more about water issues and identify what they as young people can do to play a part in combating them. In January the PEPs will begin to make their very own water awareness film as part of the initiative.
Road to Rio+20 Exploratory Event
ECO-UNESCO hosted a group of educators from NGOs, schools and youth organisations at the Greenhouse for the Road to Rio+20 Exploratory Event on Wednesday, 18th January 2012.
The group participated in interactive activities examining the role young people played at the original Earth Summit in 1992. They also examined the idea of sustainable development while sharing their own ideas and experiences on how to motivate and mobilise the participation of young people in the months leading up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Brazil in June 2012. This is the first of events and activities planned by ECO-UNESCO to remind young people in Ireland that they “can and must play a central role in bringing dynamic new ideas, fresh thinking and energy to the Rio+20 process” (Ban Ki-Moon).
National Youth Meeting 2012
Ireland’s Global Youth Citizens Speak Out about RIO+20 at ECO-UNESCO’s National Youth Meeting
Young people from across the island of Ireland gathered on Wednesday, 7th March at the Greenhouse in Dublin to learn and share their ideas about sustainable development at ECO-UNESCO’s “Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development – A National Youth Meeting for Rio+20.” Paul Cunningham, author of Ireland’s Burning and European Correspondent for RTÉ opened the event by reminding the young people in attendance of the importance of activism and getting involved in the decision-making of their local councils and groups.
Later in the day, he was joined by Kevin Greene, representative from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and Johnny Sheehan, Development Education Coordinator for the National Youth Council of Ireland for a panel discussion. The young people then had the opportunity to share their ideas and have their queries answered about their role in Sustainable Development in the upcoming Rio+20 Conference and how they can become active citizens in Ireland in order to have a positive global impact.
Over 70 young people participated in this event in ECO-UNESCO’s Dublin city centre venue, the Greenhouse. This interactive event included workshops on Policy and Active Citizenship, Sustainable Development and Rio+20 as well as a practical workshop on the photography and the power of images with professional photographer, Clare Mulvany.
“Our National Youth Meeting is about giving young people a voice on issues that affect them; in particular we will discuss and debate sustainable development and the RIO+20 Conference where some of the biggest global environmental and sustainability challenges will be debated and discussed in Rio de Janeiro this June” commented Elaine Nevin, National Director of ECO-UNESCO. It is vital that young people are given a voice and heard.
The innovative ideas and inspirations of these young people will contribute to a special ECO-UNESCO publication which will serve as a ‘Young person’s guide to Rio+20’. Following the event, all young people from Ireland have been invited to submit photographs for a special exhibition entitled “Camera on Citizenship – global Views.” This exhibition will be launched at the Greenhouse in the weeks prior to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.