Calling all Young Environmentalists to register now for ire land’s biggest youth eco-action programme

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The 2016 ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards registration is officially open and all interested groups can register now at www.ecounesco.ie.

Now in its 17th 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.

“The Young Environmentalist Awards programme keeps growing and growing year after year, not only in the amount of people taking part but also in the level of innovation and passion young people show.”

Elaine Nevin, national director of ECO-UNESCO

Last year, thousands of young people from all across Ireland entered Ireland’s biggest ECO-Awards scheme for young people. There were hundreds of project entries shortlisted to just 80 finalists following some very competitive regional ECO-Dens, our regional semi-finals. Having impressed the expert judging panel with projects ranging from creating costumes from recycled aluminium and delivering environmental workshops in schools to investigating egg membranes for their ability to absorb carbon dioxide, the 80 groups went on to attend the prestigious Young Environmental Awards Showcase and Ceremony in May 13th at the Mansion House, Dublin 2.

“The Young Environmentalist Awards programme keeps growing and growing year after year, not only in the amount of people taking part but also in the level of innovation and passion young people show. Last year’s Awards saw innovative young people from across Ireland tackling important environmental issues through projects ranging from creating B&B for birds and bugs to raising awareness about alternative green energy sources. We are looking forward to more outstanding projects this year,” commented Elaine Nevin, national director of ECO-UNESCO.

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 October. 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 27th. Participants will have to complete their project in one of ten categories including climate change, biodiversity, energy, waste, community development and art and design until the end of February 2016. 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 by Department of Environment, Heritage, and Local Government; Department of the Children and Youth Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, Dublin City Council, Alupro Ireland, Concern Worldwide and a number of local authorities island-wide.