Youth Leaders

UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development

ECO-UNESCO Club of Ireland in conjunction with UNESCO, ran the 2 day GAP training in 2017 for the European region. 27 young people from 10 countries attended.

The training was supported by the Irish Ministry of Education, which provided the training space as well as publicising the initiative. The Irish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Irish Aid) also supported the programme and hosted an evening reception for participants. Participants also attended the post-workshop excursion to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on North Bull Island in

Dublin Bay to learn about its significant ecological value.

Of those who attended:

  • 59% were female and 41% were Male
  • 55% were aged between 21 and 25
  • 30% were between 26 and 30
  • 15% were between 31 and 35
  • 45% came from the NGO sector (incl. youth organisations, community groups)
  • 51% Student union/Student network/university
  • 4% from the UN
  • 33% were resident in Ireland
  • 37% in the UK (including Northern Ireland)
  • 33% in other EU countries
  • There were 10 nationalities
  • 33% from Ireland; 22% from UK; 26% from other EU incl. Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Greece, Sweden; 8% came from outside EU incl. Argentina and South Africa.

The young people who attended the GAP Youth Leadership training have increased their knowledge, understanding and skills related to education for sustainable development.

  • 76% of participants reported an increased understanding of ESD as a result of the training. (The other 24% had reported their knowledge in advance of 5 on a scale of 1-5 so could not improve on that)
  • 88% said they felt more confident and prepared to facilitate a workshop.
  • 65% of respondents stated that they definitely planned to be an active ESD Youth Leader, and the remaining 35% answered ‘probably’ or ‘maybe’.

Post the 2 day GAP training, the Youth Leaders went on to deliver over 33 additional workshops to 1020+ additional young people in 10 countries including Ireland, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Finland and South Africa have been given as a result of the GAP ESD training to date, with Ireland and Belgium having the highest level of participation. The workshops covered a wide range of issues related to sustainable development including the Sustainable Development goals, sustainable food consumption; biodiversity etc.