Get involved, take action and make a real difference!
ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards is an all-Ireland environmental awards programme that recognises and rewards young people who raise environmental awareness and improve the environment be it in their school, community or even further afield!
ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards gets young people involved in taking environmental action. Thousands of young environmentalists in schools, youth groups and Youthreach centres throughout the island of Ireland are already making positive contributions to their environment and community by carrying out environmental action projects. ECO-UNESCO celebrates their green endeavours and achievements through our awards programme.
Interested in taking part?
If you would like to take part in ECO-UNESCO's Young Environmentalist Awards but aren't sure where to get started, why not check out our '6 Steps to Success' to help you plan your project!
Inspiring Student Action!
“The Young Environmentalist Awards not only recognise and reward those inspirational young people who raise awareness of environmental issues and try to find solutions to difficult problems; they also encourage young people to get involved, to suggest new answers to old questions and to be resourceful as they work together to find new ideas, new ways of thinking and to question some of the perceived inevitabilities by which we live”.
Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland in his keynote address at the Young Environmentalist Awards 2013
What is the YEA?
The Young Environmentalist Awards Programme has been running since 1999 and has attracted the participation of over 30,000 young people and reached countless others with awareness raising campaigns in over 1,500 youth groups, schools and communities in all 32 counties of Ireland. For over fourteen years ECO-UNESCO has encouraged young people to carry out local environmental action projects, making a difference to the lives of all both locally and globally.
After groups submit their ECO-Action project report, projects are judged and a select number are invited to the ECO-Den semi-finals.
The ECO-Dens are Dragon's Den-style regional heats and give young people the opportunity to pitch their project and discuss their findings with a panel of experts. The semi-finalists pitch their projects to the 'ECO-Dragons'. There are four Regional events, taking place in Connaught, Ulster, Leinster and Munster.
From the ECO-Dens, approximaately 80 projects are selected to participate in the National Final in May.
The Showcase and Awards Ceremony takes place every year during May, and gives an opportunity for the public to engage with participants and the projects that they have completed. The showcase is a dynamic, lively, exciting occasion, with 700+ people attending each year. This is a high profile event; past special guests include President Michael D.Higgins; past Presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese; government ministers; the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin and a host of up and coming talented artists, entertainment and celebrities. In 2015, RTÉ’s talented young presenter Aidan Power acted as MC for the official Award Ceremony.