Ireland’s Young People Ready to Go Green at the launch of the Young Environmentalist Awards 2015


The 2015 ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards was officially launched today, 3rd September at European Union House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 by Minster Alan Kelly TD, Minster for the Environment, Community and Local Government. 

Now in its sixteenth year, the Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA), run by ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation, is Ireland’s biggest celebration of youth eco action and is an initiative open to young people aged 10-18 years from across the 32 counties of Ireland. The programme sees groups from schools, youth and community organisations come up with real solutions to a host of local and global environmental issues.

Last year, hundreds of entries were shortlisted to just 75 finalists following some very competitive regional semi-finals. Having impressed the expert judging panel with projects ranging from developing biodiversity trails, creating art objects from recycled aluminium, delivering environmental workshops in schools, to setting up a ‘city farm’ to harvest crops and cut down on food miles the 75 groups went on to attend the prestigious Young Environmental Awards Showcase and Ceremony in May.

Elaine Nevin, National Director of ECO-UNESCO said, “This programme just grows year after year and it’s a huge testament not only to the depth of young people’s environmental awareness, but also to the huge level of innovation, commitment and passion that they show in providing a real response to a wide range of issues such as biodiversity, climate change, waste, energy and a whole lot more besides. We are greatly looking forward to hearing about the range of eco-action projects that young people will carry out this year and wish everybody the best of luck with their endeavours”. 

A ‘YEA Road Show’ will hit towns and villages across Ireland, inspiring and encouraging young people to start their very own eco-action projects. Free training will be provided to all registered groups from the end of September through to November. The training will provide young people, their teachers and leaders with the skills, knowledge and know how to grow their ideas into a real life action project that will help improve their local school, community or wider world.       

Registration to ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards will close on November 28th. Participants will have until the end of February 2015 to complete their project in one of ten categories including Climate Change, Biodiversity, Energy, Waste, Community Development and Art and Design. Once registered, groups can avail of ECO-UNESCO’s training, advice and on-going support as their projects progress.

Teachers and youth leaders can register groups of 2-25 young people by visiting www.ecounesco.ie or by contacting ECO-UNESCO at +353 1 6625491 or yea@ecounesco.ie.

ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards is supported byDepartment of Environment, Heritage, and Local Government; Department of the Children and Youth Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, Dublin City Council, Alupro Ireland, Enrich and a number of local authorities island-wide.