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ECO-UNESCO Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisation

Annual Report

2013 ECO-UNESCO is affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA)




Welcome 2 About ECO-UNESCO


The Year at a Glance


The Year in Quotes


Dear friends of ECO-UNESCO, 2013 has once again been a year of positive growth and development for ECO-UNESCO and I am delighted to present you with this Annual Report outlining our successes over the past 12 months.

6 Throughout 2013, ECO-UNESCO remained

The Greenhouse

committed to its remit of youth development through environmental activity, education and Environmental Youth 7 the protection of the natural environment. In Programmes 2013 we continued to offer our unique range of ECO-Kids youth programmes and services. These included workshops, events, youth meetings, kids’ camps, ECO-Youth 8-9 the Young Environmentalist Awards programme, accredited and non accredited trainings, Clubs 10 educational resources and facilities; as well as environmental education outreach programmes Young 11-13 and youth employment programmes.

Environmentalist Awards

Our flagship programme, the Young

Youth for Sustainable 14-15 Environmentalist Awards continued to grow with Development our largest showcase and awards ceremony to ECO-Choices 16 date held in the Mansion House. Participation in Education & Training Short Courses FETAC Accredited

the event increased on last year highlighting the

17-18 huge interest young people have in protecting and

Publications & Resources 19 Communications & Representation


Collaborative Working


conserving the environment and how important the YEA programme is in encouraging and rewarding such positive environmental actions. We were delighted to have the YEA endorsed by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland who was the keynote speaker at this year’s Showcase and Awards Ceremony and who highlighted the importance of young people getting involved with such initiatives and the powerful impact that these eco-action projects were having on a local and global scale.

Northern Ireland & 22 International Funding 23 The Greenhouse continued to be a hub of

ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation. ECO-UNESCO works to educate, raise awareness and develop young people through environmental youth programmes, activities, education and training programmes and publications.


activity in 2013 and hosted a number of ECOUNESCO events, exhibitions and trainings along with remaining home to the successful Youth for Sustainable Development Peer Education Programme and the ECO-Choices Drugs Prevention programmes. The Greenhouse was also home to two national youth meetings: ‘The EU and Me’ in April, and ‘Young Citizens for Water’ in November. Both saw young people from around the country participate in these meetings, meet with experts, have their voices heard and leave inspired to carry out their own eco-action projects in favour of environmental conservation. Along with engaging young people in meaningful environmental action projects and peer education programmes, we also continued to up skill and train a number of people of all ages in community gardening, sustainable development, environmental education and more. 2013 marked the beginning of our accredited youth employment training programme, Green Pathways. ECOUNESCO was successful in receiving funding under this Momentum funded project in 2012, and in 2013 began the delivery of three programmes to young people under 25 from around Dublin. This FETAC accredited programme which had a very valuable work placement experience helped upskill young people for jobs in the green economy, along with helping to improve their confidence, communication skills and self esteem.

2013 was also a year in which we strengthened our international links. Following on from the very successful Rio+20 Transnational Youth Meeting in November 2012; return trips were made to three of the participating European groups in autumn to view the eco action projects they were working on following their trip to Dublin. These visits really helped to enhance our relationship with other UNESCO Clubs and to create a stronger European network. Our attendance at the UNESCO Youth Conference in Paris in September also helped to further solidify our links with UNESCO clubs worldwide. At a European level; we attended the Youth and Environment Europe (YEE) five day training and Annual Meeting in July, and again this proved an excellent opportunity to network with European peers and exchange ideas and best practice. Like many others in the not for profit sector facing funding challenges; ECO-UNESCO has remained resourceful and innovative in delivering its programmes. Youth organisations like ECO-UNESCO play an important role in providing young people with the space to develop interests, be exposed to new ideas and situations, make new friends and build confidence and assertiveness through the provision of high quality, non-formal, specialist environmental youth programmes in a fun and safe environment. With this in mind I would like to thank our supporters and funders for their continued interest and support for the work that we engage in. I would also like to thank all of the people who are involved with ECO-UNESCO; our members, our young people, our board, our staff, interns and our volunteers who continue to deliver on programmes. ECO-UNESCO is very proud of our work; we are a vibrant, innovative organisation providing highly effective programmes for young people, leaders and teachers which are empowering young people throughout Ireland to take environmental action and make a difference among their peers, in their communities and beyond. I hope you enjoy reading through the highlights of our work in 2013 and learning about the positive effect that our programmes are having on young people, their peers and communities both around the country and beyond. I look forward to 2014, to continuing this innovative work and making a real difference in the lives of many young people.

Elaine Nevin National Director



ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).

ECO-UNESCO is 12,000+ young people, educators, leaders and other ECO-UNESCO participants 5,000+ new participants in ECO-UNESCO events activities and trainings 4,000+ young people engaged in the Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) Programme 3,000+ members of ECO-UNESCO Clubs across Ireland and Northern Ireland 2,000+ attendees at the YEA ECO-Dens and the Showcase & Awards Ceremony 1,000+ people trained in environmental, sustainability and youth issues 500+ events and activities held throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland 200+ children exploring their environment through the ECO-Explorer Holiday Camps and the OPW Phoenix Park Summer Programme 100+ young people exploring their ideas at ECO-UNESCO’s National Youth Meetings 32 counties of Ireland involved with ECO-UNESCO 1 environmental education and youth organisation ECO-UNESCO’s aims are to: • Raise awareness, understanding and knowledge of the environment among young people • Promote the protection and conservation of the environment • Promote the personal development of young people through practical environmental projects and activities • Promote the ideals of UNESCO

Protecting the Environment ECO-UNESCO works with young people, educators and youth leaders on environmental projects across Ireland, helping to protect and conserve the environment. Each year our programmes, workshops, events and trainings support and inspire environmental action at a local level among young people, their peer groups, communities and beyond.

Empowering Young People Through our innovative peer education programmes and youth-led events, ECO-UNESCO continuously strives to better achieve our mission of using environmental education as a means of empowering young people and supporting positive personal development.

ECO-UNESCO’s Key Activities 2013 In 2013, ECO-UNESCO’s environmental and youth work included the following highlights:

ECO-Youth • Environmental youth events, activities and workshops across Ireland and Northern Ireland • National Youth Meeting; Young People and Europe; Exploring the EU, Green Employment and Ireland’s EU Presidency • National Youth Meeting; Young Citizens for Water • ECO-UNESCO Clubs Programme • ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards Programme • Youth for Sustainable Development and Peer Education Programme • ECO-Youth Choices (drug prevention programme) • Green Teen Club at the Greenhouse • Transition Year and Internship Work Placement Programme • Green Trails of Dublin City Centre

ECO-Kids • ECO-Explorer Holiday Camps for Kids • Phoenix Park Summer Programme for Kids with the OPW • ECO-Kids Parties

Education & Training • Green Pathways training and employment programme for young jobseekers • Information and support provided to educators, youth leaders and young people • Discovery Primary Science and Maths accredited organisation with outreach workshops available

• Training including FETAC accredited courses delivered to a wide audience • Funding approved by Momentum for Green Pathways, a youth employment programme for under 25s

Other Activities • • • •

Interactive exhibitions at the Greenhouse Development of environmental education resources ECO-Sustainability Award for organisations Representation and advocacy for environmental education and education for sustainable development

Our Link to UNESCO ECO-UNESCO is affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA). The UNESCO Clubs movement started in Japan in 1947 with the aim of providing a means for individuals to become involved in promoting the goals of UNESCO - cooperation and collaboration for peace. ECO-UNESCO is the WFUCA affiliate in Ireland and supports and coordinates an all-island network of ECOUNESCO environmental youth clubs.

Acknowledgements ECO-UNESCO would like to thank all those who contributed to the development of the organisation in 2013, especially all of our dedicated members and funders as well as our hardworking staff, interns and volunteers. During the year, 33 people completed ECO-UNESCO’s internship programmes and we engaged with 5 volunteers throughout the year. Board Members: Liz Carroll, Anne Marie Kilshaw, Mark Bennett, Peter Byrne, Karen Furlong. National Director: Elaine Nevin Staff: Laura Cahill, Dunchadh Kinane, Ann Kinsella, Megan Noah, Lucy O’Neill, Paddy Wright, Sarah Jane Taylor, Eithne Laird, Nora Ide McAuliffe, Niamh Hand, Feidhlim Ó Seasnáin, Niamh Kirwan, Catherine McGuinness, Gareth Conlon. Interns/Volunteers/TÚS Programme: Mario Melo, Laurne Sucche, Greer Gavin, Ester Batlle Genis, Giulia Santunione, Simona Cannito, Helen Phelan, Carmen Costin, Hannah Koch, Inga Sprince, Nicola Marzari, Camille Niang, Caoilin McDonnell, Cassandra Ciechi, Chiara Zandegiacomo Bonel, Christine Cutajar, Cliondhna Denny, Franziska Weißörtel, Jennifer Cobin, Julia Koblitzek, Katie Cionci, Laurna Maher, Louisa Groben, Sarah Ryan, Stan Zamyatin, Stefano Bianchi, Thomas Engel, Emilia Ciarcia, Miguel Pinal Trashorras, Stephanie Howard, Ciara Dean, Cathy Gibson, Elena Klöttschen, Daniel Murray, Roisín Liston, Ana Elisa Bezerra. Members & Participants: All ECO-UNESCO members and participants help to support the vision of the organisation. Members benefit from special events and discounts on resources, trainings and workshops and we look forward to building on our programme in 2014.

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The Year at a Glance January


• ECO UNESCO Launches the Green Pathways Training Programme • 2013 Training and Young People’s Prospectus is launched • • Young jobseekers sign up to the Green Pathways Training Programme • National Director Elaine Nevin is appointed to the EPA Advisory Committee





• ECO-UNESCO receives the National Energy Globe Award for Ireland for its Young Environmentalist Awards Programme • The EU and Me: Young People and Europe National Seminar held in the Greenhouse • Launch of the Young Environmentalist Awards People’s Choice Poll • Official launch of ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development ‘Youth Top Gardeners’ group rooftop garden at the Greenhouse • • President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, attends the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards Annual Showcase & Ceremony 2013 in the Mansion House • Launch of a “Young Person’s Guide to Ireland’s Presidency of the EU and Green Employment Policy, 2013” • Green Pathways 2 commences • YEA exhibition opens at the Greenhouse • ECO-UNESCO attends the WEEC Conference in Morocco July







• ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards ECO-Dens are held around the country • Green Pathways 1 commences

• Launch of ‘Your ECO-Community Garden’ Resource Book • Rio+20 Transnational Youth Meeting Exhibition opens in the Greenhouse • ECO-Explorers Summer Camps run in the Greenhouse • • Rio+20 Transnational Seminar: Return trips to European UNESCO youth clubs by ECO-UNESCO • ECO-Explorers Summer Camps run in the Greenhouse. • • Registration to the Young Environmentalist Awards 2014 opens • ECO-UNESCO attends the Flavours of Fingal Festival and the National Ploughing Championships • Culture Night 2013 at the Greenhouse • Green Pathways 3 commences • YSD Streetfeast in St. Stephen’s Green

• Young Environmentalist Awards Roadshow • Youth for Sustainable Development Programme; Global Youth Leaders for Change begins • ECO-Explorers Hallowe’en Camp • President Michael D. Higgins announced as patron of ECO-UNESCO • • National Youth ECO-Forum 2013: Young Citizens for Water • ECO-UNESCO celebrates Science Week by hosting “Climate Change and Sustainability for Young People” workshops • • ECO-UNESCO’s Christmas Cards go on sale • ECO-Christmas Day takes place in the Greenhouse • Launch of ‘Training, Children and Young People’s Programme 2014’ • ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development group enter Concern’s ‘Food Right Now’ film competition


The Year in Quotes It really opens your eyes to the problems facing community groups and on things to do in the community to help tackle these issues. ECO-Community Development Participant Amazing for young people to learn about the environment. Great education for our future. ECO-UNESCO`s Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 Attendee I found this course very interesting but not only in the ecology field - I learned a lot about the issues of human rights as well. Introduction to Sustainable Development Participant The workshop was very enjoyable and I loved learning about climate change and the environment. It really made me think about it. I would like to help the environment. Global Responsibilities Workshop Participant

Brilliant, it got me focused, informed and excited. ECO-UNESCO`s Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 Finalist Green Pathways has given me the confidence to believe in myself and motivate others. It’s shown me that not only am I capable, but proud to be me, to my full potential. Green Pathways Participant I really took on another perspective about sustainable development and now understand the issues around it. Introduction to Sustainable Development Participant I thought it was very good and informative. It was also well organised and the guest speaker was brilliant. Young Citizens for Water National Youth Meeting Participant

“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; Keynote Speaker at the 2013 Young Environmentalist Awards

Helpful not only for education in drugs prevention, but also for other topics dealing with young people. ECO-Choices Participant This was a great camp, especially the trips to the park. ECO-Explorers Participant It really taught me a lot about water and we made lots of new friends. Young Citizens for Water National Youth Meeting Participant Green Pathways has helped me to communicate to people because before I couldn’t, but now I am more able to speak to people. I am learning about the environment and doing actives with a group to learn what we have to do to help each other. Green Pathways Participant

I have definitely obtained a lot of useful information and helpful little small things I can do. I am now much more aware of environmental issues. YEA 6 Steps to Success Participant I am so glad that I had the privilege to do this course it has taught me that just one person can make a difference ECO-Community Development Participant In Green Pathways I have done a variety of things. The business pathway I have done has opened my mind further and given me the knowledge I need to think about starting a business. Green Pathways Participant This workshop was very good and I learned a lot today It wasWorkshop a great andParticipant exciting two days. Waste Young Citizens for Water National Youth Meeting Participant



The Greenhouse FACILITIES AT THE GREENHOUSE Ground Floor • ECO-UNESCO information desk • Exhibition space • Kids Zone | Chill Out Zone • Resource library • Computer access area 1st Floor • Event Space (facilitates up to 90 people) 2nd Floor • Meeting Room (facilitates up to 30 people) • Hot desk offices 3rd Floor • ECO-UNESCO offices and meeting rooms Other Features • Wifi • All rooms are wheelchair accessible


The Greenhouse is open to the public: 9.00am – 5.00pm (Mon – Fri) 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2


For bookings and further information about the Greenhouse facilities, contact ECO-UNESCO at +353 (0)1 662 5491

2013 marked another busy year in The Greenhouse. This city centre building acts as the organisation’s multi-purpose headquarters and is a hub for environmental and youth activity. Since opening the doors in 2009, we have attracted thousands of visitors annually. The Greenhouse has become an increasingly popular and widely recognised location for information, events, trainings, exhibitions, conferences and much more. Through ECO-UNESCO’s leadership, the Greenhouse has become a recognised centre for environmental education youth work and sustainable learning.

From The Greenhouse in the heart of Dublin, we’ve promoted environmental conservation, raised environmental awareness among young people and helped their personal development through practical action projects and activities. The Greenhouse is open to the public, and young people in particular are encouraged to drop in to use the space and to participate in many of our free events. ECO-UNESCO encourages young people to feel a sense of ownership over the space in order to allow them to express themselves more freely in a safe and secure environment.

In 2013 ECO-UNESCO continued to run an exciting and engaging range of programmes and events in The Greenhouse. The following are some of the highlights from the year:

• Public information service including - Information desk, resource centre, internet access, youth meeting space, Chill Out Zone, Kids-Zone, library and exhibition space

• Youth programmes including - Youth for Sustainable Development Peer Education and

Training Programme including weekly youth meetings, workshops and monthly events; ECOYouth Choices, a drug prevention training programme; Green Teen Club, an after school engaging young people in environmental activities

• Youth events including - Environmental workshops, ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2013; Leinster ECO-Dens; ECO-UNESCO’s National Youth Meetings: ‘Young People and Europe; Exploring the EU, Green Employment and Ireland’s EU Presidency’; ‘Young Citizens for Water’ • Programme of children’s events including - ECO-Explorers environmental holiday camps and ECO-Kids parties • Public events and exhibitions - ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 Winners Exhibition, Irish Satellite of the International Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, The EU and Our Environment; A Young Person’s Guide; Youth Exploring Rio+20; A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting • Green Trails of Dublin - Guided walking tours of Dublin City Centre exploring biodiversity, conservation and natural heritage • Training courses including - A range of short courses and FETAC accredited courses • Volunteering & work placement programme - Including a range of volunteering opportunities, transition year work experience and ECO-UNESCO Youth Internships. ECO-UNESCO offered internship opportunities through government employment support initiatives including JobBridge, Work Placement Programme and TÚS Placement Programme. • Other activities - Culture Night 2013 Education and Training Open Evening ECO-Christmas Fun Day

The Greenhouse, ECO-UNESCO’s city centre headquarters in Dublin




Environmental Youth Programmes

Environmental Events and Activities Programme

In 2013, ECO-UNESCO’s Environmental Youth Programmes continued to empower young people to protect and conserve the environment. ECO-UNESCO runs a range of all Ireland flagship youth programmes including the Young Environmentalist Awards, National Clubs Programme, Youth for Sustainable Development and Peer Education Training Programme.

There are also a host of environmental events, activities, workshops and exhibitions on offer and in 2013 these included two national youth meetings; “Young People and Europe; Exploring the EU, Green Employment and Ireland’s EU Presidency”, and “Young Citizens for Water”. Working with younger children, ECO-UNESCO offered ECO-Explorer Holiday Camps, ECO-Kids Workshops, Green Trails and a range of DPSM curriculum linked workshops.

ECO-UNESCO carried out workshops from its ECOWatchers programme including:

• 1 x ECO Biodiversity workshop to 14 young people and children • 2 x Suas Global Issues Course module “Environmental Sustainability” to 60 third level students in TCD and DCU • 1 x ECO Biodiversity workshop to 28 young people & children in County Library, Tallaght, Dublin 24. ECO-Kids (5-12 years) ECO-UNESCO continued to offer a diversified programme for children in 2013. Along with a range of curriculum linked workshops for primary school students, children aged 5-12 also participated in: ECO-Explorer Holiday Camps for Kids

In total, ECO-UNESCO organised over 390 environmental activities in 2013 including workshops, trainings and youth events. These events were aimed at increasing young people’s awareness about environmental issues in a fun, hands-on way which brought young people from across Ireland together for conservation, education and adventure. Many of these events linked in with key national and international dates including: World Wetland Day, World Water Day, UN Earth Day, National Tree Week, World Environment Day, Car Free Day, World Habitat Day, International Biodiversity Day, National Heritage Week and Culture Night 2013.

The popular ECO-Explorer camps returned for a third year during the Easter, summer and Halloween holidays. Seven weeks of themed holiday camps were delivered to over 100 children. On each of the camps children developed new friendships, explored nature in the heart of the city, developed a greater awareness of the natural world, their place in it and the fun that can be had working with re-used and recycled materials.

Energy Watchers examines our energy consumption. It helps participants investigate their personal energy usage and explores new ways we can address the energy challenge. Waste Watchers focuses on developing an understanding of waste and consumption. Young people learn how to address the issue by adopting practical, sustainable solutions in their daily routines. Climate Watchers puts climate change into context by exploring local and global issues. Young people learn how to take action at a local level and how to reduce their carbon footprint.

Phoenix Park Summer Programme-Discovery in the Park

Environmental Workshops 2013 saw ECO-UNESCO deliver a range of our workshops including ECO-Leader, ECO-Discovery, ECO-Action, DPSM and programme workshops to participants in ECO-UNESCO Clubs, schools, and youth organisations on a wide range of issues including waste, energy, biodiversity, water, climate change, creative recycling amongst others. In 2013 the following workshops were delivered; • • • • • • • •

4 x ECO-UNESCO Workshops were delivered to 118 children ( 6-12) 11 x ECO-UNESCO Workshops were delivered to 385 young people (12-25) 37x EPF Funded workshops delivered to 927 young people (5-18) 12 x Creative Recycling workshops delivered to 348 primary school children (5-12) 8 x full day Phoenix Park workshops to 160 children in conjunction with the OPW (4-12) 3 x DPSM workshops to 79 children (age 5-12) 2 x ECO Biodiversity Trail to 60 young people and children in Body and Soul festival, Co.Westmeath (age 5-15) 5 x Anti-Litter workshops carried out to 229 participants (12-18)

In the sixth year of collaboration between ECO-UNESCO, the OPW and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, 160 children took part in hands-on interactive workshops in the Phoenix Park in July. Eight full day workshops encouraged children to interact with their natural surroundings and learn about the history (both natural and built) of the Phoenix Park. The workshops also helped to develop participant’s confidence, team work skills and their sensitivity towards the environment. Discover Primary Science and Maths Now in its second year as a DSPM centre, ECO-UNESCO continued to offer its range of workshops and workshop series which link into the formal primary school science and maths curricula. Our workshops have been developed to suit all primary school ages and many of them can be delivered as outreach to schools in the classroom. In 2013 ECOUNESCO delivered workshops to over 70 children covering topics such as ecology, biodiversity, waste, sustainability and climate change. ECO-Kids Parties The Greenhouse continued to be a popular spot for young people to celebrate their birthday or other special occasions in 2013. Each party offered a fun filled day of eco-activities with an environmental twist!



Environmental Youth Programmes ECO-Youth Minister Frances Fitzgerald, TD, Minister for Children and

National Youth Meeting: Young People & Europe: Exploring the EU, Green Employment & Ireland’s EU Presidency

On April 11th, over 60 young people from youth organisations and secondary schools around Ireland descended on ‘the Greenhouse’ for a national youth seminar; ‘Young People & Europe: Exploring the EU, Green Employment & Ireland’s EU Presidency’.

Youth Affairs delivered the keynote address at the seminar and held a Q+A session with the young people commented. The Minister commented at the meeting; “The Green Economy offers enormous potential to our young people, both in terms of employment and in contributing to global environmental solutions. I would encourage young people to challenge the accepted wisdoms and be creative and ambitious in their policy engagement”.

The youth meeting, was opened by Cllr. Mary O’ Shea on behalf of the Lord Mayor of Dublin and was supported by the Leargas Youth in Action Programme. The one day meeting provided young people with the opportunity to discuss, engage and learn more about Ireland’s EU Presidency and EU policy on youth, citizenship, the youth guarantee and green employment.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald, TD, delivering the meeting’s keynote address

EU Booklet Launch

Cllr. Mary O’Shea pictured with National Director Elaine Nevin and seminar participants

Seminar participants engaged in a serie of interactive and informative workshops and discussed the seminar themes amongst their peers. They also engaged in ‘speed networking’ with EU and green economy experts including: Joan Flanagan (European Commission in Ireland); Emer Costello (MEP); Gary Dixon (Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation); Paddy Hennelly (NYCI); Kevin Green (Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government) and Walter Foley (Dublin City Council).

Following on from the national youth seminar in April, a resource, “A Young Person’s Guide to Ireland’s Presidency of the EU and Green Employment, 2013” was produced. The resource brought together the questions posed by young people in relation to the EU Presidency, the EU and the green economy and was developed to make the EU, Ireland’s hosting of the EU Presidency, and the green economy accessible to all. It also highlighted some of the ideas and concerns of young people. The booklet was launched on May 22nd in the Mansion House by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Clare Byrne and was made available to schools and youth groups nationwide in September 2013.

During these networking sessions the young people raced against the clock and challenged, questioned and ultimately voiced their ideas and opinions to these experts.

Cllr Clare Byrne visits the “EU and Me“ stand at the 2013 YEA following the launch of the booklet

Young people engage in a variety of interactive workshops at the ‘Young Citizens for Water’ National Youth Meeting



Environmental EnvironmentalYouth YouthProgrammes Programmes National Youth Meeting: Young Citizens for Water


A two day national youth meeting was held in the Greenhouse on November 28th and 29th with the theme ‘Young Citizens for Water’. With over 60 young people from Dublin, Kerry, Roscommon, Donegal and Cavan, the event provided young people with the opportunity, not only to learn more about global water issues, but to engage in peer discussions and have a platform for their voices and opinions to be heard. Funded under the Léargas Youth in Action programme, the event was opened by Cllr. Michael O’Sullivan on behalf of the Lord Mayor while the keynote address, “The importance of water in our world” was delivered by Professor Anna Davies of Trinity College Dublin.

‘Young Citizens for Water’ participants pictured at the National Youth Meeting in The Greenhouse

Professor Anna Davies, Cllr. Michael O’Sullivan and National Director Elaine Nevin pictured with some of the participants.

Over the two day meeting, the participants aged 14-18 got involved in a number of interactive workshops to learn about, discuss and explore water related issues including access, supply and importance, both nationally and internationally, of adequate water resources. They also engaged with a number of environmental experts including: Karin Dubsky: Co-ordinator and Co-founder of Coastwatch Europe; Ray Cullinane: EPA; Bernadette Connolly: Cork Environmental Forum; Sinead O’Brien: Sustainable Water Network; Gary Gannon: Dublin North Inner City Partnership; Dr. Roberta Bellini: Water Resource Consultant; Tiernan Henry: Earth & Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway; John Molloy: Irish Water Treatment Association; James O’Connell: Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Eoghan O’Sullivan: Carra Mask Corrib Water Protection Group; Mark Bennett: Dublin City Council Green Business: and Emma El Sahn: Irish Water Metering Programme. The young people had the opportunity to engage and challenge these experts in an effort to learn more about water issues and identify what they as young people can do to play a part in combating them. In January 2014, the participants reconvened in The Greenhouse for a one day training session with Young Irish Film Makers where they learned to shoot and produce their very own water films. The young people used the skills gained to return to their home towns and create a film raising awareness on water issues in their locality. These films premiered at the Young Environmentalist Awards Ceremony on May 20th, 2014.



Environmental Youth Environmental YouthProgrammes Programmes Environmental Events and Activities Programme Green Teen Youth Club The Green Teen Youth Club continued in 2013 and was popular with 12-15 year olds from around Dublin. The Green Teen Youth Club met 17 times and organised excursions to Bull Island where they got involved in activities such as litter picking and went on tours of the area to learn more about its biodiversity.

Youth Leadership and ECO-Skills training delivered to ECO-UNESCO Clubs in The Greenhouse

Green Teen members on an excursion to Bull Island

Green Teen Anti Litter Initiative

Green Teen members pictured in Bray

In 2013 ECO-UNESCO received funding through the AntiLitter and Anti-Graffiti Awareness Fund and the Environmental Partnership Fund to assist with the delivery of our programmes nationwide. ECO-UNESCO received funding from four local authorities (Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, South Dublin, County Galway and Kilkenny) through the Anti-Litter Awareness Fund. The Green Teen Anti-Litter Initiative has been carried out in these areas. The workshops looked at different environmental waste and litter issues and asked the young people to choose an issue that they wanted to address through an environmental action project. The training up-skilled participants in best practice waste education and equipped them with the skills required to carry out a waste and/or litter action project in their school, youth club or community.

ECO-UNESCO Clubs ECO-UNESCO Clubs are groups of young people who are in an existing Club or come together to form a Club and affiliate to ECO-UNESCO due to a shared interest in taking local environmental actions. 85 new groups affiliated to the ECOUNESCO Clubs programme in 2013. There is now a total of 252 affiliated ECO-UNESCO Clubs in Ireland. From October to December 2013, 12 ECO-UNESCO Clubs were supported to set up waste and litter action projects through the ECOUNESCO Green Teen Anti-Litter Initiative supported by 4 different local authorities. A further 5 groups from different schools were trained in these methods and have the potential of becoming future ECO-UNESCO Clubs through their teachers.

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Young people on a litter clean up in Dublin


Environmental Youth Programmes Environmental Programmes ECO-UNESCO YoungYouth Environmentalist Awards Ireland’s biggest celebration of young people taking ECO-Action! 30,000+ Young people involved since 1999 18,281 People’s Choice online votes cast 1,500+ Young people participate in the Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 338 Projects registered for ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 94 groups shortlisted and participated in regional ECO-Dens 70 projects shortlisted for the Gala Showcase & Awards Ceremony 54 ECO-UNESCO 6 Steps to Success Training workshops delivered 15 Categories ranging from Biodiversity to ECO-Enterprise and more! 5 Regional semi final ECO-Dens 1 Aim – empower, recognise and reward young people who take ECO-Action! The ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) aims to empower young people (age 10-18) to become better citizens, build awareness of environmental issues and promote simple lifestyle changes to improve the environment. Since its inception in 1999, the programme has involved over 30,000 young people. In 2013, 338 projects registered to the Young Environmentalist Awards. There was also an increase in non-formal participation between the 2012 and 2013 YEA. The registrations reflect the growing involvement of youth groups in the YEA, while also highlighting the diverse application of the awards programme throughout all sectors of education providers.

2013 ECO-Dens The Dragons’ Den style regional semi-finals once again played an important part in providing all participants the opportunity to verbally present their idea to a panel of judges. The experience not only helped bring the project to life for the judges, but helped participants grow their confidence along with their communication and presentation skills. The ECO-Dens took place in each province in Ireland with over 1,500 young people attending. Seventy groups from the ECO-Dens were selected to go forward to the YEA Final.

Participants were supported by the ECO-UNESCO team to follow the ‘6 Steps to Success’ programme to help them complete an environmental action project on their selected theme including Climate Change, Biodiversity, Energy, Waste, Water and more.

Energy Globe Award Success! In April 2013, the Young Environmentalist Awards was presented with the National Energy Globe Award for Ireland by Dr. Thomas Nader, the Austrian Ambassador to Ireland. ECO-UNESCO beat off tough competition from other entries with the YEA programme which has grown from strength to strength over the past 14 years.

Scariff Community College, Co. Clare pictured at the Connaught ECO-Den in Claregalway

Elaine Nevin receiving the Energy Globe Award from Dr. Thomas Nader, Dr. Wilhem Nest, and Dr. Brian Motherway, CEO of the SEAI

Clara Youthreach, Co. Offaly, pictured at the Leinster ECO-Den in The Greenhouse

The ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 was supported by

Gold Funders: The Department of Children and Youth Affairs, The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Silver Funders: Environmental Protection Agency

Bronze Sponsors: Cork County Council, WasteMatchers, Dublin City Council, Alupro Ireland ECO-Dens Sponsors Cork City Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Kerry County Council, Limerick City Council, Limerick County Council, Meath County Council, Roscommon County Council 11 11


Environmental Youth Programmes Environmental Youth Programmes Young Environmentalist Awards

Showcase and Awards Ceremony 2013

Exhibition and Video

The culmination of all the participants hard work came to fruition at The Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 Showcase and Awards Ceremony. This one-day event provided an opportunity to programme participants to showcase their work to their peers and general public. Young people from all over Ireland took part in the event, which took place on May 22nd in the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin. The 70 projects shortlisted for the final made it the largest YEA Showcase and Awards ceremony to date. Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Claire Byrne, officially opened the Showcase and spent time speaking to the young people and viewing their projects. All the projects were examined by an expert panel of 20 judges.

The wonderful achievements of all the finalists were highlighted in a specially produced Young Environmentalist Awards video which was made available on the ECO-UNESCO website and ECO-UNESCO YouTube channel. Further showcasing the talent of the YEA winners, an exhibition of their projects took place in the Greenhouse throughout the summer of 2013, allowing members of the public to view finalists’ projects and learn more about their local action endeavours.

People’s Choice Award Allowing the public to have their say on one of the awards, the People’s Choice online poll returned for a second year with over 18,000 votes cast from the public all over Ireland, using an online “one vote per IP address” system. The online voting system allowed the general public to not only participate in the YEA, but also helped raise further awareness of finalists’ action projects and the important work being carried out by them to help improve our environment.

Curriculum Links and Transition Year Module

Cllr Clare Byrne pictured with National Director Elaine Nevin and YEA finalists at the Mansion House

In addition to the 70 projects on display in the Round Room, there were six environmental themed zones such as the Creative Recycling Zone, ECO-Talent Zone, Chill Out Zone, etc with a very special BioZone funded by the IEN to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity. Here, young people could engage in fun activities which were developed and run by ECO-UNESCO staff and volunteers to engage the young people in environmental activities. The showcase was followed by the official awards ceremony which, following on from previous years proved to be a high profile, exciting and, at times, even suspense filled event! The keynote address on the day was delivered by Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, who commended the young people’s work and their dedication to the environment. President Higgins presented the Super Junior award along with the Overall Junior and Senior awards, along with visiting some of the winning projects and meeting with the young people involved.

ECO-UNESCO Chairperson Mark Bennett, Sara Gallagher, Conn O’Cleirigh and Elaine Nevin pictured with President Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland at the 2013 YEA

The ceremony was hosted by the youthful master of ceremonies Stephen Byrne (RTÉ Presenter). Over 20 awards were presented by highly profile guests from a range of sectors including Laura Burke (Director General of the EPA), Mary Cunningham of the NYCI (and Chief YEA Judge) and Kevin Forde (Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government). The Mundo Capoeira Dancers and JJ Jupiter provided entertainment on the day as did the young people themselves giving the audience a great mix of singing and dancing throughout the ceremony.

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The Young Environmentalist Awards is designed to work with both primary and secondary school curricula. The programme links with geography, SPHE, CSPE, maths and art syllabi. Participation in the YEA can be utilised as a recognised CSPE action project connecting to several of the subject’s concepts including stewardship, interdependence, rights and responsibilities. The YEA is also a popular option for Transition Year students and a formal TY Module has been developed which provides the tools required for teachers and schools to integrate the programme into their formal TY programme. YEA action projects can also be undertaken as part of the Gasice Awards.


EnvironmentalYouth YouthProgrammes Programmes Environmental Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 Winners Overall Joint Senior Winners 2013 Youth Top Garden; ECO-UNESCO Youth for Sustainable Development Future Global Leaders for Change

The aim of this project was to raise awareness of the benefits of having a rooftop garden. The Youthtop Gardeners want to show cities how a rooftop garden can not only tackle food security, but also the issues of climate change and reduction of urban waste. Rooftop gardens can often act as a carbon sink to reduce carbon emissions. Food grown locally is fresher and more likely to be organic. To help encourage other organisations and individuals in Dublin to create their own roof top gardens, the Youthtop Gardeners built their own garden in ‘the Greenhouse’ in Dublin 2, using mainly up-cycled materials to show that, as per their group motto ‘if we can do it, you can do it’. They received advice and assistance from several professional gardeners along the way. The group also created a mural out of recycled materials to create awareness and educate people about rooftop gardens and all the potential benefits including food security, mitigating climate change, community–building, reducing unemployment and waste reduction. The rooftop garden was launched to the public on 28th March 2013.

ECO-UNESCO’s Youthtop Gardeners; Joint Overall Senior Winners 2013

Overall Joint Senior Winners 2013 Commuenergy. Mountmellick Community School

Communergy; Joint Overall Senior Winners 2013

This group’s aim was to promote the conservation of water and energy in their local community and educating other people how to succeed in doing this. The group travelled to Brussels to attend an event known as ‘Qatari-Brussels’. The event was based around the climate change talks being held in Doha, Qatar. The group organised a ‘Water and Energy Saving’ exhibition in their school which coincided with their open evening. The exhibition included a fashion show, a launch of their book, some games, stands for businesses like Supervalu, LEAF, METAC, MEG and stands showing ionised water, weaving baskets and information on Communergy’s trip to Brussels. One of the biggest parts of their campaign was running several workshops in primary and secondary schools, and a third level college in Dublin.

Junior Winner 2013 Greener Together, SAYSWACC, Whitefriars, Aungier Street, Dublin 2

This group worked with many young people who live in flat complexes with no individual gardens and not much space for their rubbish. Therefore all of their waste went into one bin. Through various activity projects, the group taught local young people how important composting is and how the compost and nutrients help the fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers to grow. SAYSWACC also made a wormery using recycled items from a skip and then designed an even bigger wormery which they hope to make from recycled construction items to encourage more composting from other areas in the community. Finally the group presented their project locally to highlight all the work they had carried out and the huge impact it has had on the community. SAYSWACC also educated young people about recycling and how to use recycled materials for arts and crafts activities.

SAYSWACC; Junior Winner 2013

Super Junior Winners Planet Pals, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Carlow, Co. Carlow

Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál; Super Junior Winner 2013

A group of four girls who want to make a difference created Planet Pals. This is an environmental group in their school to address the hopes we all have for our future and provide a real understanding of how we can all make a difference. The group informed and inspired others with their presentations, competitions and fun crafts activities. They created their own logo, pamphlets, posters and set up their own web page. They also distributed their own newsletter throughout their school and even made environmental information books which are used by teachers in the classroom and are also available in the local library. They invited guests to the school to speak on environmental issues and organised for their fellow classmates to act as litter pickers, cleaning up all rubbish on the school grounds. 13



Environmental Youth Programmes Environmental Youth Programmes

Youth For Sustainable Development (YSD) Global Youth Leaders for Change

ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development Programme Global Youth Leaders for Change promotes Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Development Education (DE) in the non-formal education sector. It involves a variety of different projects to provide support for young people, youth leaders, educators and youth workers interested in sustainability issues. Through peer education and local action projects, the Youth for Sustainable Development Programme uses interactive learning techniques to inspire, motivate and challenge young people to take action in favour of sustainable development. The programme encourages young people (age 15-18) to develop an awareness of global issues including human rights, food security, climate justice and ethical consumption linking their own lives to young people in the developing world. This holistic approach encourages a global perspective where economics, environment and society and the interactions between these themes are explored. Through art, music, games, discussion and outdoor activities, young people gain a deeper understanding of sustainable development on a local and global level. In 2013, participants included young people from various countries including Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, Pakistan, Nigeria and India. From April 2013 over 65 young people were engaged in the Y-PEP programme. These young people were provided with the opportunity to engage in quality DE/ESD activities which strengthened their capacity to take action on global justice issues. This programme comprised the delivery and support of young peer educator leaders, in various stages of the peer education programme. Young people developed the knowledge and skills to explore issues of sustainable development, were encouraged to see the global consequence of their local and personal actions and empowered to take action. They participated in DE/ESD activities (i.e. simulation activities, excursions and role-plays); issues explored include climate change, food security, ethical consumption, trade justice and young people’s lives in the developing world. They themselves delivered workshops on global issues to their peers using DE/ESD methods and carried out action projects in their local communities.

2013 Youth for Sustainable Development Programme Highlights YSD, Y-PEP certified leaders were supported in forming local ECO-UNESCO Clubs carrying out global action projects and entering the YEA. Their action projects in 2013 included:

• New Waves - International Food Fest - In September 2013 this group organised an International Food Festival ‘The Mad Hatters Tea Party’ in St. Stephen’s Green with over 250 members of the public attending. The festival explored the issue of global food security, had a range of international foods on offer and also engaged the public in workshops on with a International Food Security.

• Peer Education Video - The larger Y-PEP group created a video on peer education to showcase the benefits of peer education and its effectiveness as a tool for DE/ESD. They also created a webpage, Facebook page and a Twitter Account to reach a large number of their peers and other key groups.

• The Youth Top Gardeners - transformed ECO-UNESCO’s rooftop space into a garden to highlight how unused urban spaces can be turned into a garden to help tackle food security and address the issues of climate change and reducing urban waste. The group used mainly up-cycled materials to develop their garden and also used recycled materials to create a mural to educate people about rooftop gardens and their benefits. The garden was officially launched in March 2013 by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Claire Byrne. The project went on to jointly win the Overall Senior Award at the 2013 Young Environmentalist Awards.

An ECO-UNESCO Y-PEP Advisory Network was established comprising members of representatives from previous programmes. This group met regularly in 2013 and was involved in delivering workshops to the younger Y-PEPs and assisting them in their global action projects. ECO-UNESCO groups were supported to participate in the Local to Global category of the Young Environmentalist Awards. Over 63 workshops were held throughout the country to encourage groups to enter the awards programme. Each workshop encouraged participants to consider the Local to Global aspect of their project and were encouraged and supported in doing so.

Programme supported by

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Environmental EnvironmentalYouth YouthProgrammes Programmes

Youth For Sustainable Development (YSD) Global Youth Leaders for Change

International Events: ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Y-PEP member Ceire Tiernan was selected as the Irish representative at the UNESCO Youth Meeting in Paris in September. At the meeting Ceire had the opportunity to network with peers, inform them of ECO-UNESCO’s work and participate in a number of workshops and talks.

National Events: The Y-PEPs participated in various events in 2013 including the ECO-UNESCO’s National Youth Meetings ‘The EU and Me’; a one day event in April and also ‘Young Citizens for Water’ in November 2013. The November youth meeting was a two day national event with young people from all over Ireland meeting with policy makers to explore issues facing young people in relation to water both locally and globally. Other events included ‘Challenging the Crisis’ with the Debt & Development Coalition and IDEA; the launch of Coastwatch Europe’s Campaign and the launch of One World Week with the NYCI. Regional training for young people was delivered through the Louis Network on Youth and Sustainability with 24 young participants. A further meeting was held in Cavan with the ETB Youth Officer, Youthreach Officer and two youth workers from Monaghan on establishing ECO-UNESCO Clubs in the region to deliver the Y-PEP programme. One group in Monaghan was supported to undertake a Global Action Project which was submitted to the Young Environmentalist Awards.

YSD: ECO-Sustainability Award

The ECO-Sustainability Award aims to encourage youth and community organisations to contribute towards building a more sustainable future locally and globally. Cavan Youthreach, Grove House and Ramelton Community Youth Project Donegal were all awarded the Bronze Award for their sustainability efforts in 2013. RehabCare in Bray was awarded the Silver title while the Cavan Centre was presented with the first ever Gold ECO-Sustainability Award won under the scheme. The fourth year of the ECO-Sustainability Award was launched in September 2013 with 10 youth and community organisations participating. All groups attend a free training day and receive ongoing support from ECO-UNESCO as well as the revised ECOSustainability Award Handbook and Toolkit offering a step-by-step guide to adopting a whole organisation approach to sustainability and education for sustainable development.

FETAC Accreditation: Nineteen Youth Peer Educators in the final phase of the programme received accreditation in Peer Education for Sustainable Development FETAC Level 5. Peer workshops included: social justice, child labour, apartheid in South Africa and human rights, global debt crisis, global warming, ESD skills, gender equality, perma culture, conflict and the environment. Youth Leader Training: Nine youth leaders were provided with training in Tralee in December 2013 in Youth Work and Sustainability . 36 community and Youth Leaders received accredited training courses. 14 people received FETAC accredited training in Peer Education for Sustainable Development Level 5 with a further 22 people receiving FETAC accredited training in Introduction to Sustainable Development along with Peer Education for Sustainable Development level 5. Support and Collaboration: There was ongoing support and collaboration with the youth work sector through monthly attendance at the National Youth Council of Ireland DE Advisory Group along with attendance and support of IDEA’s monthly Community and Adult Education Working group.




Environmental Youth Programme Environmental YouthProgramme Programmes ECO-Choices ECO-UNESCO’s ECO-Choices programme is an innovative drug misuse prevention programme that utilises environmental education, education for sustainable development and peer education methods as a resource for positive personal development in ‘at risk’ young people. In 2013, 429 young people and youth leaders were involved in the programme. ECO-Youth Choices Foundation Programme: This programme is an alternative Drug Prevention programme, building the capacity of young people to make positive life choices. It aims to channel the energy of young people into positive action; empowering them to improve and protect themselves, others and their environment. ECO-UNESCO delivered this 10-12 week programme to 22 at ‘risk young’ people from areas in Dublin. Peer Education Training: The ECO-Youth Choices Peer Education training works to empower young people from ‘at risk’ areas to become peer educators for change in their communities. This year nine peer educators from the Fingal group completed a drug prevention video on the risks and effects of taking ecstasy. Six Peer Educators from the X-Hale project (funded by the Irish Cancer Society) compiled a resource for leaders to facilitate young people taking action to create smoke free communities. 12 peer educators from Newtownmountkennedy created an art piece to showcase to their local school their vision of how they would like their community to be. Outdoor Education: ECO-UNESCO offers young people (age 12-19) the opportunity to explore their natural environmental and to develop their own potential through educational, fun and interactive activities in outdoor settings such as woodlands and beaches. Outdoor education is used as a therapeutic tool to empower young people by connecting them with their natural environment. Twelve outdoor education days were delivered in 2013 to 151 young people including excursions to the Barnaslingan Wood, Bull Island and St. Stephen’s Green.


FETAC Course: In 2013 ECO-UNESCO delivered two ECO-Youth Choices Community Participation FETAC Level 3 modules to 39 ‘at risk’ young people from communities along the Long Mile Road and Darndale. Through this course, participants gained knowledge of local community development both in theory and practice. Through the workshops they further developed their practical life skills including problem solving, critical and relational thinking, decision making/consequence learning and self awareness. They developed know how and skill in planning and communication through participating in a local community based environmental action project – becoming active citizens in their local community. They also gained facilitation skills and confidence through the peer education training and facilitation aspect of the programme. Other Workshops: Six alternative prevention education workshops (personal/life skill development) were delivered in formal education-SPHE module to 12 ‘at risk’ young people aged 15-16 years from communities in Crumlin, Drimnagh, Walkinstown, Rialto and the Long Mile Road. Seven other workshops were delivered to the BRYR Gaisce Group in Ballymun to nine young people age 14-16. ECO Choices Training for Trainers: In 2013, ECOUNESCO continued to deliver this training for trainers on both an outreach and in-house basis to teachers and youth educators from organisations working with at-risk young people, early school leavers and marginalised groups in both the formal and nonformal education sector. ECO-UNESCO worked with these groups to develop their own alternative drug misuse prevention programmes. In conjunction with the training, participants receive the ECO-UNESCO publication ‘Introduction to ECO-Choices Resource Pack,’ to support their work. In 2013, three trainings were delivered to 30 youth leaders.


Environmental Youth Programmes Programmes Education & Training As Ireland’s leading provider of environmental, sustainability and youth training, ECO-UNESCO provides personal and continuous professional development to a wide range of stakeholders including: young people, trainers within non-formal and formal education, professionals, public and private sector, teachers, community and business leaders, national and international NGOs, local authorities, architects, engineers, the media, jobseekers, academics and others with an interest in learning about sustainability.

ECO-UNESCO provides accredited and non-accredited training courses from both its base in The Greenhouse in Dublin city centre and via its outreach facility.

Accredited Training In 2013 ECO-UNESCO continued to deliver its accredited FETAC training to youth leaders, educators, peer-educators and young people. These accredited trainings included: • Introduction to Sustainable Development FETAC Level 5 • Peer Education for Sustainable Development FETAC Level 5 ‘Intensive’ • ECO-Community Development FETAC Level 3 • Green Pathways Employment Training Programme FETAC Level 5 and 6

National Qualification Framework: Showing the level of fully accredited training provided.

Short Courses


Along with its FETAC accredited courses, ECO-UNESCO also delivers a range of short, one day courses. In 2013 these courses included:

Advanced short trainings focusing on professional education development, personal professional development and organisational development

• ECO-Community Garden Training • ECO-Watchers Teachers and Leaders • Training covering topics: waste, energy, climate, water

• Environmental Education (Course 1 Trends and Developments; Course 2 Curriculum Links)

• Youth Work and Sustainability Training

• ECO-Sustainability Award (Becoming a sustainable organisation)

• Peer Education and Sustainability Training • Drugs Prevention Training for Trainers

• Leadership and Strategic Sustainable Development

• 6 Steps to Success: Young Environmentalist Awards Training • ECO-UNESO Club Trainings • Media and Sustainable Development • Young Environmentalist Awards Workshop

Internship & Professional Work Placement Programme As part of ECO-UNESCO’s Training Programme, a range of volunteering, internship and transition year work experience opportunities are offered throughout the year. The aim of this programme is to up-skill young people in a range of areas from youth work to communications; develop transferable skills; and developing personal skills and self confidence. The internship programme in particular was in high demand and in 2013 over 30 people, many of them under 25, completed work placements of up to 9 months at ECO-UNESCO involving direct youth work, education and training, administration, communications, events and other general duties. Case Study In 2013, Stephanie Howard, a Politics student from University of Limerick undertook a nine month work placement experience with ECO-UNESCO. She recounts on her time with ECO-UNESCO and what she gained from her placement. My name is Stephanie and I was on work experience with ECO-UNESCO from University of Limerick for 9 months.There are a variety projects that I helped out on during my time here and I have gained a lot of experience in administration, research and really built on my IT skills. Each day brought something new and I met with many interesting people from various different backgrounds in my work. I was given a lot of stimulating jobs including helping to organise events such as Culture Night and the National Youth ECO-Forum which really helped develop my skill set even further. My time with ECO-UNESCO was great. I don’t come from an ‘eco’ background, I study politics, but my time with ECO-UNESCO made me consider looking at the politics around the Environment as I continue with my education.

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Education & Training Programmes Environmental Youth Programmes Green Pathways Employment Training Programme In 2012 ECO-UNESCO secured funding under the Momentum Initiative to run a new youth employment training programme ‘Green Pathways’ and in 2013 ECO-UNESCO ran three of these programmes. Green Pathways is an integrated employability programme which comprises FETAC accredited training courses, ongoing employment support, work experience and one-to-one mentoring. The Green Pathways programme aims to tackle youth unemployment by providing a practical and realistic stepping stone to employment in areas related to but not exclusively in the Green Economy, Environment, Sustainable Development, Youth Sectors and other industries. It also aimed to provide jobseekers with the opportunity to progress onto further or higher education. From March 2013 ECO-UNESCO had three separate of intakes to this programme in March, May and September with over 60 young people enrolled. Each programme consisted of over 480+ hours which ran full time over a 6 month period. Geen Pathways combines training and work placement along with ongoing weekly support throughout the duration of the course. Following completion of the programme, participants continue to receive employment support from ECO-UNESCO. During the Green Pathways course, each candidate took part in 3 FETAC accredited modules as follows: • Sustainable





• Work Experience (FETAC level 5); During their work experience each candidate had to carry out a Value Added Project which aimed to apply what they had learnt in the Sustainable Development course into practice.

Participants also choose from one of the following Pathways:

• Business Development (FETAC level 6)

• Professional Development (FETAC level 6)

• Peer Education (FETAC level 5)

Each participant received:

• Accredited training in areas related to the environment and sustainable development.

• Accredited training in professional development, business and peer education.

• Individual learning and career planning advice. Guidance and advice on preparing an excellent CV and how to be successful in job interviews

• Workplace value added project and a period of valuable workplace experience with a potential employer

• Support and mentoring

• The prospect of progressing onto further or higher education in your chosen field and / or a part-time or full-time job.

• The Green Pathways Programme offers awards certified by FETAC in Levels 5 and 6.

As Green Pathways is based around employment, up-skilling and making candidates more employable, the course covered many aspects of employment support including: job search, interview skills, mock interviews, CV and cover letter writing, personal development, weekly support meetings, allocated personal mentor, skills and interest tests. Regardless of the area in which participants undertook their work experience, all participants had to bring an environmental aspect 18 18

to their experience and carry out a value added project with the organisation they worked for. This ranged from the participants carrying out environmental audits and identifying areas in which the organisations could save energy, to introducing recycling into their workplace, to creating a window display from recycled materials. This allowed the students to practice what they had learned in their Sustainable Development module and to apply in a real life working environment.

The Success of the Programme

The success of the programme and the impact that it has had on the lives of these 63 young people has been inspiring. Many have gone to secure full or part time jobs with others now pursuing further and higher education. Along with this the participants developed key skills such as communication, IT, teamwork and presentation skills.


Publications & Educational Resources Environmental Youth Programmes In

2013, ECO-UNESCO continued to develop its range of publications. Many of these were free and were made available to young people, educators and youth leaders via the ECO-UNESCO website. Some of the highlights from 2013 include:

Published: ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 Booklet

In Production:

Biodiversity Super Cards The development of this game commenced in 2011 including the completion of games operation and content. This game is aimed at children and young people to introduce them in a youth friendly and fun way to some of the ‘superpowers’ of some of our species. The resource will be enjoyed by children and will be a valuable resource for teachers, youth workers and parents alike.

This shortlisted projects booklet contains the summaries of the top 70 youth environmental projects from around the island of Ireland who were invited to the annual showcase and awards ceremony at the Mansion House in May.

The EU and Me: A Young Person’s Guide to Ireland’s Presidency of the EU and Green Employment Policy, 2013 This booklet was developed with the help of the 60 young people who participated in ECO-UNESCO’s ‘Young People and Europe’ National Youth Meeting in April. The booklet explains Ireland’s hosting of the 2013 EU Presidency and its key priorities, the green economy and youth employment in an European context.

Climate Watchers Magazine This publication was developed for young people by young people containing up to date information on climate change and how young people are taking action to adapt and mitigate climate change.

Youth Exploring Rio+20: A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting and Exhibition Report Following on from the Rio+20 Transnational Youth Meeting held in the Greenhouse in 2012, this publication documents the ecoaction projects that the attendees from around Europe engaged in to make a real difference to their locality.

Annual Newsletter 2013/14 The ECO-UNESCO newsletter was released in autumn and distributed to ECO-UNESCO members as well as thousands of schools, youth centres and libraries across the country, providing information on ECO-UNESCO trainings and programmes.

Provision of information and awareness-raising ECO-UNESCO also produced and distributed a range of information and marketing material to accompany our programmes and services and raise awareness of environmental and sustainability issues in our work. The Greenhouse Information Officer continued to provide a valuable public information service to visitors to the greenhouse and played an important role is raising awareness of ECO-UNESCO trainings and events.

ECO-Community Garden Resource This offers a step by step guide to working with young people towards developing a community garden. Youth leaders and young people up-skilled to apply environmental education and methods to their youth work through the development and maintenance of a community garden. It empowers, encourage and upskills young people to take part in local community gardening projects.

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Communications & Representation Environmental Youth Programmes Media & Public Relations

ECO-UNESCO continued to have a strong media presence in 2013. ECO-UNESCO events received substantial coverage in both regional and national media including, print, TV and radio. In 2013, 319 print articles and/or images were published that highlighted the organisation’s work. RTÉ Young People’s Programming also continued its link with ECO-UNESCO covering the Young Environmentalist Awards and the launch of the Youth Top Gardeners rooftop garden. RTÉ Radio 1 also covered a piece on the Young Environmentalist Awards. ECO-UNESCO’s work was further promoted through a wide range of magazines, e-newsletters, external websites and event guides throughout the year with a focus on the environmental, youth and education sectors.


In 2013 ECO-UNESCO’s website continued to be a vital source of for those seeking further information on our ECO-Kids, Teens and Education and Training programmes and activities. Major online initiatives included the ECO-UNESCO People’s Choice Awards, an online poll for the public to vote for their favourite Young Environmentalists Awards finalist.

Social Media

As a youth organisation, ECO-UNESCO works through a range of online, multi-media and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and online polls. In 2013, our Young Environmentalist Awards blog continued to be visited by participants and the general public allowing them to stay updated on YEA happenings.


As part of the 2013 outreach programme, ECOUNESCO attended a number of events and conferences including; National Youth Council of Ireland AGM; BT Young Scientist Exhibition; NYCI /Irish Aid ‘One World’ Day; DICE Resource Fairs; Electric Picnic; Body and Soul; The National Ploughing Championships; Flavours of Fingal County Show; NYCI EU Presidency Event; Student Council Conference Drimnagh Castle; CSPE Teachers Conference; ISTA Conference.

Representation & Advocacy

ECO-UNESCO is an advocate for environmental education, education for sustainable development and environmental youth work. The organisation works to promote the role of young people in environmental education and environmental decision making in Ireland. In 2013, ECO-UNESCO was represented on a variety of committees and boards including; • National Youth Work Avisory Committee • Representation on National Youth Council Ireland (NYCI) bodies including: • NYCI Board • NYCI Special Organisation Network • National Youth Development Education Programme (NYDEP) Youth Advisory Group • Stop Climate Chaos Coalition Membership • Participation in the Irish Development Education Association (IDEA) learning programme • National Tree Council Ireland Membership • UBUNTU Network Members (Steering committee) • EPA Advisory Committee • National Quality Standards Training Task Group • SWAN BOARD • Quality standards training Development Task Group



ECO-UNESCO is an advocate for environmental education, education for sustainable development and environmental youth work. The organisation works to promote the role of young people in environmental education and environmental decision making in Ireland.

Social Media - Connect with us:

Facebook: ECO-UNESCO Twitter @ecounesco LinkedIn: ECO-UNESCO Flickr: YouTube:



Collaborative Work Environmental Youth Programmes Throughout 2013, ECO-UNESCO continued to develop links and partnerships with agencies, organisations and businesses to provide environmental education, youth programmes and teacher and leader trainings in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. ECO-UNESCO actively engaged on an ongoing basis with young people, youth leaders, educators, external organisations and other key target groups. This engagement included collaborative work, focus groups and surveys to ensure that all ECO-UNESCO programmes remained responsive to the needs of young people in particular, as well as the general environmental, educational and youth sectors. A sample of our collaborative work from 2013 includes: • Collaborative work with institutions including Local Authorities, National Libraries and schools throughout the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. • Youthreach Centers, Youth Groups, Youth officers. • ECO-UNESCO continued to have a presence with young people in schools throughout Ireland in a nonformal capacity through extra-curricular activities and project work. In 2013 ECO-UNESCO projects included the Young Environmentalist Awards, DPSM, a range of environmental workshops, ECOUNESCO Clubs and National Youth meetings.

National Youth Council Ireland (NYCI) ECO-UNESCO is represented at NYCI on a formal level including the board, and other formal advisory groups.

Youthreach ECO-UNESCO further developed its links with Youthreach in 2013 in order to provide training to early school leavers. In particular ECO-UNESCO provided the ‘Introduction to Sustainable Development’ (FETAC L5) to 10 young people who completed fourteen training sessions held over a three-month period and worked with Youthreach trough the YEA and ECO Sustainability Award

Local Authorities ECO-UNESCO works with Local Authorities nationwide through funding from the Environmental Partnership Fund and Anti-litter intiative as as other collaborative work. The fund allows ECO-UNESCO to work with communities, fulfilling important aspects of the Local Agenda 21 remit. ECO-UNESCO builds the capacity of young people, teachers and leaders to address environmental issues. In addition, through the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards a number of Local Authorities supported the regional ECO-Dens through sponsorship, venue sponsorship as well as representation on the judging panels.

Others As part of our outreach, ECO-UNESCO also participated in a range of festivals and events including Culture Night 2013, X-Hale film festival, Electric Picnic, Body and Soul music festival and Ploughing Championship. ECO-UNESCO also linked in with a number of groups in the provision of our work such as North West Inner City Network (NWICN); South West Inner City Network (SWICN); Cross Care;LYCS and Bradóg.

Libraries In 2013, ECO-UNESCO worked with a number of libraries for various events and workshops including: •

UN Earth Day in Tallaght County Library where a biodiversity workshop was held for 30 young people.

4 x Global Responsibilities & Climate Change workshops to 180 young people in Fingal County Libraries

8 x Global Responsibilities & Climate Change workshops to 221 children in 4 Dublin City Libraries

12 x Creative Recycling workshops delivered to 348 primary school children in South Dublin County Council Libraries for Halloween and Christmas

National Quality Standards Framework for Youth Work (NQSF) ECO-UNESCO was one of the first participants selected to take part in the NQSF for youth work which has been developed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The NQSF is primarily a support, development and assessment tool which ECO-UNESCO will be using to further develop and to articulate through a common language, our youth work practice. Through the NQSF ECO-UNESCO will work to enhance our capacity to address the development needs of young to a greater extent and in a more cost effective manner. In 2013 ECO-UNESCO also participated in the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups.




Environmental Youth Northern Ireland andProgrammes International Links Northern Ireland

International Engagement

ECO-UNESCO is committed to working with young people from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In 2013, ECO-UNESCO worked closely with environmental and youth organisations to deliver workshops and trainings as well as sharing strategies for providing environmental education in Northern Ireland.

WEEC: In June 2013, ECO-UNESCO National Director, Elaine Nevin, attended the World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) in Morocco. Elaine had the opportunity to network with a number of peers from around the globe and attended a number of interesting seminars and talks.

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 was once again supported by the Craigavon Borough Council, Co. Antrim. The council hosted the Ulster semi-final ‘ECO-Den’ event which was held in the Lough Neagh Discovery. As well as pitching their projects to a panel of local judges, participants also enjoyed a day of environmental workshops as well as showcasing their work to their peers and to the public. There were 45 entries from Northern Ireland to the YEA in 2013, involving more than 550 people.

YEE Meeting: In July 2013, ECO-UNESCO was represented at the YEE’s (Youth and Environment Europe) Youth Participation for Environment in the Czech Republic. ECO - UNESCO was represented by young people and staff. This five day training course was followed by the YEE’s Annual Meeting and the event offered an excellent opportunity for ECO-UNESCO to further develop links with its European partners. Rio+20 Return Visits: During August and September 2013, ECO-UNESCO National Director, Elaine Nevin, made a number of return trips to some of the participants from the Rio+20 Transitional Youth Meeting held in the Greenhouse in November 2012. Elaine visited participating UNESCO Clubs in France, Latvia and Malta to view the eco-action project groups that were undertaken as a result of their time in Ireland.

St. Dominic’s School, Belfast, Co. Antrim pictured at the Ulster ECO-Dens in Craigavon Borough Council’s Lough Neagh Discovery Centre.

International ECO-UNESCO encourages young people to ‘act local – think global.’ As an organisation we also strive to extend our reach to an international level as well as increasing the international diversity of the organisation. ECO-UNESCO is affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA). At the international level, the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA) is responsible for informing, coordinating and mobilizing its members, with UNESCO’s support and cooperation. In the light of civil society’s growing role in public policy-making, the Club movement can play a key part in educating citizens, and can contribute to dialogue between cultures and generations for sustainable development

International Diversity In 2013, the Youth for Sustainable Development Peer Education programme was actively developed to include a greater multicultural and multinational element by involving a number of non-Irish participants including young people from Israel, Pakistan, Nigeria and India.

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Elaine Nevin pictured with members from De La Rochelle UNESCO Club, France

Elaine Nevin pictured with the Malta UNESCO Youth Association in Malta.

UNESCO Youth Meeting: ECO-UNESCO was represented at the 2013 UNESCO Youth Meeting in Paris in September. Ceire Tiernan, a member of the Youth for Sustainable Development; Global Youth Leaders for Change group represented ECO-UNESCO at the event where she networked with young people from other UNESCO Clubs and attended a number of workshops and seminars.


Funding ECO-UNESCO is funded by a variety of organisations contributing to both the overall development of the organisation and project specific work. In 2013, ECO-UNESCO continued to increase funding by collaborating with national and European funding bodies. ECO-UNESCO also acknowledges the support of all members and participants.

ECO-UNESCO’s comes from:




• Youth Service Grant, administered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs

ECO-UNESCO funding from:



• Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government administered by the Irish Environmental Network • Local Authorities nationwide under the Environmental Partnership Fund • Youth in Action Fund, European funding administered in Ireland through Leargas • Environmental Protection Agency

Governance ECO-UNESCO’s Board are all non-executive volunteer positions who meet every six weeks to ensure ECO-UNESCO complies fully with Good Governance requirements. Regular board assessments are carried out so that there is gender balance, good diversity and appropiate skills in adopted areas to assist with policy development. Board sub-committees are in place in relation to both staff and Finance. In 2013 ECO-UNESCO continued with its review and updating of policies; which included updating of staff handbook and Child Protection Policy. Appropiate financia policies and procedures complying with statutory requirements are in place and ECO-UNESCO’s audited accounts are available on our website at;

ECO-UNESCO received a range of funding related to specific projects including: • Green Pathways: Momentum Initiative (Solas) ECO-Choices: Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund, administered by the City of Dublin Youth Service under DCYA • Youth for Sustainable Development: Irish Aid • Young Environmentalist Awards: Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency • Phoenix Park Summer Programme: Office of Public Works • ECO-Dens: Local Authorities sponsorship of the regional judging events of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) • ECO-Den venue sponsorship from Dublin City Council, Cork City Council and Craigavon Borough Council • WasteMatchers Award Sponsorship (YEA): Cork County Council

Other income streams: • ECO-UNESCO also receives funding through membership fees, consultancy, resource sales and donations funding

Our annual accounts are on website for review

Where we work Derry










Cavan Louth

Mayo Roscommon

Key: Actvity Type per County*

Longford Meath


Environmental Youth Programmes


Galway Offaly


Kildare Laois

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards Projects 2013


Clare Carlow



Kilkenny Wexford


* Each marker represents multiple events, activities, groups, etc Waterford





Environmental Youth Programmes the Greenhouse, 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2 T: +353 (0)1 662 5491 F: +353 (0)1 662 5493 E: W:

ECO-UNESCO is funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with Support of the National Lottery Funds.

ECO-UNESCO is part-funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government through the Irish Environmental Network.

Irish Environmental Network

Ecounesco annual report 2013  
Ecounesco annual report 2013