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Geo Telsaru, Youth for Sustainable Development participant, pictured on the left.
My name is Georgiana and I am a 16 year old teenager from Dublin,that is going to take part in the
#youthstrike4climate on March 15th.
I have always been interested in the world around me and how everything I’m surrounded by works. In 2018,I started attending the
Youth for Sustainable Development Programme at ECO-UNESCO, which is a youth group that motivates young people to
take action on the many huge problems we are currently facing as a society and generation.
I was never taught anything is school about climate change and the problems that our environment is facing,
so it was a shock for me to find out the extent of the impact that human activity is having on our only true home – Earth.
We are currently living in a society where money is the main focus of our goals, where we are oblivious of the issues
we are facing due to a lack of education,awareness spreading and media coverage on the matter.
It is incredible to think that many people still have difficulties believing in climate change when everything is happening
right under our noses. Ice caps are melting, ocean plastic is suffocating and killing our amazing marine ecosystem,
and big companies are exterminating forests, destroying wildlife habitats. All these horrible things are happening on our
beautiful Earth, and we as a society still fail to even acknowledge the huge complications we are facing.The Government and
all of the people with power are not doing enough and are still letting big companies and corporations destroy our planet, which is
simply sad and unacceptable.
That is why I am striking on the 15th of March. I am striking, as I want as many people as possible to comprehend the true
extent of the mess we are creating and to show them that together we can make everything improve. We have eleven
years to change our destiny. Eleven years to offer future generations a sustainable and clean existence. Eleven years to clean up the mess our
ancestors have created.Yes, it may seem impossible,however with little help from everyone,we can remake history.History has shown us that
even if it all looks dull, as humans have the power to turn things around and make the best out of every situation.We have done it
countless times and we can do it one more time, but this time is only going to work if everyone puts in the effort.
I am striking because I believe in us.
Youth for Sustainable Development participant Cleo writes about why she's going on #ClimateStrike this Friday, March 15th.
On Friday March 15th I'm going on strike to raise awarness on global warming and climate change.
As a teenager, it seems obvious to me that taking part in this protest movement is the right thing to do. We often hear that
teenagers are irresponsible, and that we are not mature enough to engage with important issues such as climate change.
We're not listened to because people think we're too young to have an opinion - but I firmly believe the opposite.
My name is Cleo, and I am a French teenager who has been living in Dublin for the last year.
The young people I met here have been incredibly inspiring for me -
they've helped me to believe that youth from all over the world can and will have a voice !
Our voices are so much more important than adults, especially when it comes to global warming because
it isn't their future that will be jeopardized, it's ours! We are the ones who need, want and will ultimately have to make the changes when it comes
to taking action on this matter. We can no longer avoid the reality of what is happening, or turn a blind eye to all the climate refugees.
This Friday, I am striking for all of my generation who will have to live with the reprecussions, for all the climate refugees who are facing this harsh reality everyday,
and for our dear planet, to whom we owe everything.
(Williams, 2019. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau)
ECO-UNESCO is Irelands environmental education and youth organisation. For over 30 years, ECO-UNESCO has been engaging,
educating and empowering young people to take action on environmental issues of concern to them. These are young people who have been concerned
about environmental degradation, including biodiversity loss, over-consumption and climate change. As educators, we have worked to build their awareness,
their confidence and self-esteem so that they can make choices and take an active role in society.
Young people are very concerned about climate change, about its impact on their future and the future of all life on this planet; they have recognised the urgency to act.
Through work such as ours young people have been playing a role as active citizens through their actions and around issues identified by them, with solutions
identified by them and carried out by them. We’ve seen over 300,000 young people across Ireland take environmental action since we first opened our doors in 1986.
With each action taken, a real positive change is affected.
Perhaps in the past, the young-person revolution has been more silent due to the absence of social and digital media. And now with social media and other new technologies,
young people are able to organise, mobilise and take direct action for themselves.
At ECO-UNESCO, we have seen just how passionate young people are about environmental action through our Young Environmental Awards, which annually sees
more than 4,000 young people take action and make a difference to our environment.
Our society has a real responsibility to our children and young people. That they are expressing their concerns through organised actions, such as the upcoming schools strikes,
should be supported.Through these schools strikes, they are both taking control of their own future and empowering other young people to take action.
These protests are indicative of an awareness of the civic-mindedness and social responsibility that drive positive change in society.
We encourage young people to be active citizens and we should support them when they are. Our young people have been voicing their environmental concerns for decades but now they are mobilising themselves due to the urgency of climate change.
It’s time that policymakers and decision-makers listened to them; this is long overdue.
Fintan O’Toole in his article “Shame on us for forcing children to wake us up to climate change” (Opinion & Analysis, March 5th) is right that “there is a need for
humanity to understand and respect the limits of nature”. Climate change is the defining issue of our generation and there is a need for urgent action to reduce global warming.
On reading the article I was struck by the perception that young people taking action on environmental issues is something new. For over 30 years, Eco-Unesco,
Ireland’s environmental youth organisation, has been engaging, educating and empowering young people to take action on environmental issues of concern to them.
These are young people who have been concerned about environmental degradation, including biodiversity loss, overconsumption and climate change.
As educators, we have worked to build their awareness, their confidence and self-esteem so that they can make choices and take an active role in society.
solutions identified by them and carried out by them. We’ve seen over 300,000 young people across Ireland take environmental action since we first opened our doors in 1986.
With each action taken, a real positive change is affected.
Perhaps in the past, the young-person revolution has been more silent due to the absence of social and digital media.
And now with social media and other new technologies, young people are able to organise, mobilise and take direct action for themselves.
At Eco Unesco, we have seen just how passionate young people are about environmental action through our Young Environmental Awards,
which annually sees more than 4,000 young people take action and make a difference to our environment.
Our society has a real responsibility to our children and young people. That they are expressing their concerns through organised actions,
such as the upcoming schools strikes, should be supported. We encourage young people to be active citizens and we should support them when they are.
Our young people have been voicing their environmental concerns for decades but now they are mobilising themselves due to the urgency of climate change.
It’s time that policymakers and decision-makers listened to them; this is long overdue. – Yours, etc,
See the letter on the Irish Times website here.
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Young Environmentalist Awards,
we've launched a brand new website for all your YEA needs!
Check it out here and let us know what you think.
Didn't submit a project for YEA19? That doesn't matter, we still want you to attend.
Pick up a free ticket for the May 23rd Showcase & Awards Ceremony at the Convention Centre Dublin here.
#YEA19 submissions are due this Friday, March 1st!
Read the submission guidelines here.
We also have a 24 hotline available for all your YEA related queries!
Call Susie, our YEA coordinator at 086 704 3400.
Best of luck!
Your #YEA19 Options
From February 19th-21st, young people from Norway, Greece, Spain and Ireland came together to think about how
we can tackle waste issues as part of ECO-UNESCO's 'No Time to Waste' Youth Summit in Dublin, a three day event
supported by Leargas and Erasmus+.
The three day event gave young participants a chance to perfect their environmental action projects (which were started at the first event in November 2018)
with the help of expert feedback. It also gave them a platform to voice their environmental concerns in front of a panel of policy makers, all of which will
be fed back to the European Youth Parliament.
Day 1: Tuesday February 19th
Graphic Harvester Maia Thomas recording the dialogue between young people & experts on Day 2. Instagram: treesandpaintbrushes
Aaron Bailey, CloughJordan
Clodagh Kelly, Swapsies
Paul Manning, Veolia
Trisha Ramlugan, Veolia
Aidan Ring, Friends of the Earth
Emily Robyn Archer
The first day of #NoTimeToWaste saw the young people presenting their action projects to a range of guest speakers and getting useful feedback on them ahead
of meeting policy makers the next day.
The morning discussion were followed by a fun trip to the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, where they learnt more about how a circular economy could function.
Day 2: Wednesday February 20th
Tim Voss, NYCI
Professor Patrick Paul Walsh, UCD
Eamon Ryan, Green Party
Lynn Boylan MEP
Ciaran Cuffe, Green Party
Grace O Sullivan, Green Party
Colin O Byrne, Rediscovery Centre
Caitriona Rogerson, Irish Environmental Network
The morning of day two at #NoTimeToWaste was a big one for the participants, as they presented their projects to a panel of experts and later received feedback
on what they could do to take the next real-world steps with them.
The most important part of the morning though, was when the young people got the chance to voice their concerns to the experts, amongst whom were politicans and MEPs.
The experts then fedback to the younng people with practical advice.
After lunch, all young people took part in a debating event that was kindly facilitated by Concern.
Day 3: Thursday February 21st
The final day of the #NoTimeToWaste Youth Summit saw the participants take a field trip to the Cool Planet Experience at Powerscourt.
The young people took the tour, which saw them calculate their carbon foorpint and find out ways to reduce it. They also took part in workshops hosted by the Cool Planet Team!
Thank you to everyone who contributed towards making this such a special event.
All photos are from our Instagram stories! Follow us @ecounesco
ECO-UNESCO's Youth for Sustainable Development Programme, Ireland
Hordaland Fylkeskommune, Norway
Club for UNESCO of Piraeus Islands, Greece
On Saturday February 16th, Dublin City Council held a #Councils4ClimateAction event
in The Mansion House. The aim of the day was to encourage the public to visit www.dublinclimatechange.ie and have their say
on what local councils should be doing to fight the ever pressing issue of climate change.
Not one's to miss an event where they can their say on environmental matters, young people from
ECO-UNESCO's 'Youth for Sustainable Development' programme were in attendance on the day - informing passers by
about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and how they can take action to work towards their achievement.
One lucky participant was even interviewed by RTE and appeard on the 9 o'clock news!
Are you aged 15-18 and want to take real action on environmental issues? Learn more about our Youth for Sustainable Development Programme here.
Tonight see's the first session of our Youth for Sutainable Development Programme launching in Westport, Mayo!
The weekly group will be run by Westport Tidy Towns, who are no stranger to ECO-UNESCO having entered last years
Young Environmentalist Awards with their wonderful project 'HAUS'.