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ECO-UNESCO Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisation

Annual Report

2012 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


The Greenhouse


Dear friends of ECO-UNESCO, 2012 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. Throughout 2012, ECO-UNESCO remained

Environmental Youth 7 committed to its remit of youth development Programmes through environmental activity, education and the protection of the natural environment. In 2012 ECO-Kids ECO-Youth


Clubs 10 Young Environmentalist Awards


Youth for Sustainable Development ECO-Choices


Education & Training Short Courses FETAC Accredited



Internship & Professional 17 Work Placement Publications & Resources 18 Communications & Representation


Collaborative Working


Northern Ireland & 21 International Funding 22

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.

we continued to offer our unique range of youth programmes and services. These included workshops, events, teen and kids’ camps, the Young Environmentalist Awards programme, accredited and non accredited trainings, educational resources and facilities; as well as environmental education outreach programmes and consultancy work.

Local to global was a key theme of many of our events this year. Locally our flagship programme, the Young Environmentalist Awards continued to grow with our largest showcase and awards ceremony to date held in the Mansion House. Participation in the programme was up 25% on last year highlighting the huge interest young people have in protecting and conserving the environment and how important the YEA programme is in encouraging and rewarding such positive environmental actions. With a more global outlook, young people were facilitated in understating the Rio+20 conference and the Millennium Development Goals in our annual National Youth Seminar in March. Engaging young people in dialogue concerning active citizenship and how to use their voice to maximum effect was a central part of the forum which was attended by young people from all over Ireland. In the latter part of the year, our Rio+20 Transnational Youth Forum comprised a meeting of young people from UNESCO clubs from Ireland, France, Italy, Latvia and Malta; all of whom were hosted in the Greenhouse by ECO-UNESCO. From the discussion and interactions both with their peers and with policy experts at the meeting in Dublin, the seminar participants returned to their home countries inspired and determined to complete their own local action projects ranging from canal clean ups to raising awareness of recycling. ECO-UNESCO’s Clubs programme continued to grow and have a positive impact in communities across Ireland. Toyota continued their funding of this important initiative and with their support we assisted over 18 Clubs with Seed Grants to help them carry out environmental action projects in their local areas. Staying local we also continued to work in conjunction with local authorities nationwide on a range of youth and training projects including community gardening, waste and energy workshops and the Green Teen Youth programme. The Greenhouse continued to be a hub of activity in 2012 and hosted a number of ECO-UNESCO events, exhibitions and trainings along with


remaining home to the ever successful Youth for Sustainable Development Peer Education Programme and the ECO-Choices Drugs Prevention programmes. In September we were delighted to expand upon our programme for under 12s as ECO-UNESCO became an official Discover Primary Science and Maths accredited organisation. We now offer a range of workshops and workshop series which link into the formal primary school science and maths curricula. Areas covered include ecology, sustainability and biodiversity. Workshops have been developed to suit all ages and can also be delivered as outreach sessions to schools nationwide. 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. 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 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. In 2012 these programmes are empowering young people throughout Ireland to take environmental action and make a difference among their peers, in their communities and beyond. I look forward to 2013, 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).


12,000+ young people, educators, leaders and other ECO-UNESCO participants 5,000+ young people engaged in the Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) Programme 2000+ attendees at the YEA Regional Dens and Showcase and Awards Ceremony 1,000+ people trained in environmental, sustainability and youth issues through workshops, trainings and youth events 200 children exploring their environment through the ECO-Explorer Holiday Camps and the OPW Phoenix Park Summer Programme 150 affiliated ECO-UNESCO Clubs and groups 31 counties actively engaged with in 2012 7 organisations engaged in the ECO-Sustainability Award 4 countries participating in the UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting 2012 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.

Key Activities In 2012, ECO-UNESCO’s environmental and youth work included the following highlights:

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. Founded in 1981, WFUCA is responsible for informing, coordinating and mobilising its members with UNESCO’s support and cooperation. ECO-UNESCO is the WFUCA affiliate in Ireland and supports and coordinates an all-island network of ECO-UNESCO environmental youth clubs.


• Environmental youth events, activities and workshops across Ireland and Northern Ireland • National Youth Meeting Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development

ECO-UNESCO would like to thank all those who contributed to the development of the organisation in 2012, especially all of our dedicated members and funders as well as our hardworking staff, interns and volunteers. During the year, 23 people completed ECO-UNESCO’s internship programmes and we engaged with 54 volunteers throughout the year.

• UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting Youth Exploring RIO+20

Board Members: Liz Carroll, Anne Marie Kilshaw, Mark Bennett, Peter Byrne

• ECO-UNESCO Clubs Programme including Clubs in Action Seed Grants

National Director: Elaine Nevin


• 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 • Monthly Green Kids Drop-in Workshops at the Greenhouse • ECO-Kids Parties

Education & Training • Information and support provided to educators, youth leaders and young people • Discovery Primary Science and Maths accredited orginisation with outreach

Staff: Maeve Boylan, Laura Cahill, Hedda Dick, Rachel Gilliland, Dunchadh Kinane, Ann Kinsella, Armin Krautgasser, Aoife Murray, Megan Noah, Colin O’Byrne, Lucy O’Neill, Paddy Wright, Sarah Jane Taylor Interns/Volunteers: Stephen Walsh, Patrick Redmond, Inga Sprince, Inma Chincoa, Shawna Cleary, Erin Gleeson, Ana Bezerra, Delphine Zanoutene, Elisa Montani, Gary Mentanko, Eoin Brennan, Elisa Amatista, Valerio Ciccolella, Conall Weadick, Emily Tully, Casey Heigh, Carmen Costin, Helen Phelan, Niamh Hand, Julia Engler, Jae Hwan Lee, Erica Bruschetti, Lisa Stuve, Franziska Weisortel, Camille Niang, Robert Nelson, Tingli Li, Rory Harte, Nicola Brennan, Emma Mulhern, Elisa Montani, Aimée Vaughan 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 2013.

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The Year at a Glance January

• Road to Rio Exploratory Event • New Peer Education programme begins • Green Teen Youth Club kicks off

Febuary • Launch of Clubs in Action 2012 March • Young Environmentalist Awards ECO-Dens take place around the country • National Youth Meeting: Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development: A National Youth Meeting for Rio+20 • National Tree Week is celebrated with a free Green Trail of Dublin city centre April • ECO-Explorers Easter Camp • Young Environmentalist Awards ‘People’s Choice’ online poll goes live May • Young Environmentalist Awards National Final at the Mansion House, Dublin • IEN BiodiverCity Days • Launch of “Camera on Citizenship-Local Views” exhibition June • Launch of “Young Person’s Guide to Rio+20 and the Millennium Development Goals” booklet


• ECO-Explorers Summer Camp with the Lorax • Phoenix Park Summer Workshops in association with the OPW • ECO-UNESCO and SEAI ‘Energy Explorers’ workshops as part of the Dublin City of Science programme • ECO-UNESCO becomes an DPSM accredited organisation

August • Free Teen Summer Camp runs during Heritage Week in association with the Heritage Council • ECO-UNESCO’s PEPS host Grasstonbury 2 as part of Mandela International Day


September • Registration to the Young Environmentalist Awards 2013 opens • Green Teens premiere their film “Mission Green Possible” • X Hale Youth Forum with support from the Irish Cancer Society takes place • ECO Explorers Halloween Camps • Meitheal-ethic exhibition at the Greenhouse

November • Young Italians visit ECO-UNESCO to complete a customised 2 week ECO-UNESCO Community Development Programme • Clubs in Action Showcase • Transnational Youth Seminar: “Youth Exploring Rio+20: A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting” December •


Launch of “Training Children and Young People’s Programme 2013”


The Year in Quotes Thanks for the help, it opened a different door for me to do better in life. ECO-Youth Choices Participant Very interesting. Good to see the links to all different school subjects. Environmental Education: Curriculum Links participant The leaders were very friendly and always listened to what you had to say. Very enjoyable, time flew by, some great games ideas. Junior Urban Ecology Participant

I am now inspired to enter ECO-UNESCO’s YEA and make my local environment a better place! YEA Regional Training participant

This experience has shown me how when we work in a team, and we work on an issue that we care about, that we can make a big difference to our environment and our community. Young Environmentalist Awards 2012 Finalist It is a very educative and social workshop. Great way of working in teams, making friends and learning lots of information. Teen Summer Camp Participant

It was great fun, enjoyable and I learned a lot about animals and the environment. BiodvierCity Participant The workshop was really fun and I’d love to come back again. DPSM Science Week Participant

This was a great experience, it was great to hear so many great ideas and meet so many interesting people. I feel that everybody here, the leaders and policy people really cared about what the youth have to say. I hope that we have made a real difference this weekend. Rio+20 Transnational Youth Seminar Participant The content was really good; all the interactive activities gave us a chance to have consistent discussions about different kinds of subjects. Introduction to Sustainable Development Training Participant Very enjoyable. Excellent leaders. Wonderful activities-the children loved it! BiodiverCity participant

Great course. Loved the information given. It raised my awareness on sustainable development and gave me the confidence to pass on information. Introduction to Sustainable Development Training Participant The course gave me a greater understanding of ‘environmentally friendly’ issues and how to bring them to the classroom. Teacher Training Week Participant

I found the course very interesting with All the training was very dynamic, we have loads of great practical participated in an active way and that’s very ideas to use in school. important for understanding and Teacher Training Week Participant keeping the knowledge. The course was very relevant to our ECO-Community Development Training Participant current needs and content was very useful and inspiring. The interactive elements are very enjoyable. It ECO-Community Garden Participant was very good for both my own knowledge and methodologies of teaching. Very interesting, well organised, thought Really enjoyed it. provoking and stimulating. An Introduction to Sustainable Development Teacher Training Week and Education for Sustainable Participant Development Training Participant I’m very happy with the course content and deExcellent course, well presented. This type livery, it’s what I need. Very educational of space to discuss global issues and worthwhile. is important. Environmental Education: Youth Work and Sustainability Training Trends and Developments Training Participant Participant 5


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: 10.00am – 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

2012 marked ECO-UNESCO’s third 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 2012 ECO-UNESCO and our collaborators offered a range of exciting services, programmes and events at the Greenhouse including:

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

• Youth programmes including – Youth for Sustainable Development (Y-PEP) Programme

including weekly youth meetings, workshops and monthly events; ECO-Youth 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’s Young Environmentalist Awards 2012; Leinster ECO-Dens; ECO-UNESCO’s national youth seminar “Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development”, ECO-UNESCO’s “Youth Exploring Rio+20 – A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting • Programme of children’s events including – ECO-Explorers environmental holiday camps; Green Kids monthly weekend workshops; ECO-Kids Parties • Public events and exhibitions – ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2012 Winners Exhibition; Clubs in Action; Irish Satellite of the International Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef; Camera on Citizenship-Global Views • 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 (see pp15-16 for details) • Volunteering & work placement programme – Including a range of volunteering opportunities, transition year work experience and ECO-UNESCO Youth Internships. ECOUNESCO offered internship opportunities through government employment support initiatives including JobBridge, Work Placement Programme and TÚS Placement Programme. • Other activities – ECO-UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development seminar; Beyond 2015 (Irish Development Education Association training); venue provided for stakeholders in environmental education and education for sustainable development

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




Environmental Youth Programmes Environmental Events and Activities Programme In 2012, ECO-UNESCO’s Environmental Youth Programmes continued to empower young people to protect and conserve the environment. ECO-UNESCO ran a range of all Ireland flagships youth programmes including the Young Environmentalist Awards, National Clubs Programme, Youth for Sustainable Development and Peer Education Training Programme. There were also a host of environmental events, activities, workshops and exhibitions on offer and in 2012 these included the National Youth ECO-Forum “Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development”; a Transnational Youth Forum “Youth Exploring RIO+20 – A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting”, the weekly drop in Green Teen Youth Club and a teen summer camp. Working with younger children, ECO-UNESCO offered ECO-Explorer Holiday Camps, ECO-Kids Workshops, Green Trails and a range of DPSM curriculum linked workshops. In total ECO-UNESCO organised over 360 environmental activities in 2012 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, National Tree Week, World Environment Day, In Town Without My Car, World Habitat Day, National Heritage Week and Culture Night 2012.

• 31 environmental workshops were delivered to 857 young people (age 5-18) • 8 anti-litter workshops (funded by Dun Laoighaire/ Rathdown, South Dublin, Mayo, County Galway, and Kilkenny County Councils) for 96 young people (age 12-18)

ECO-Kids (5-12 years) ECO-UNESCO further expanded its young people’s programme in 2012 as ECO-UNESCO became an accredited Discovery Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) organisation offering a range of curriculum linked environmental workshops for primary school students and their teachers. Along with offering this programme children aged 5-12 also participated in: ECO-Explorer Holiday Camps for Kids: The popular ECO-Explorer camps returned for a third year during the Easter, summer and Halloween holidays. Eight weeks of themed holiday camps were delivered to over 100 children. In 2012 the summer camp was run in association with Universal Pictures who were celebrating the release of animated children’s film, The Lorax. 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. Phoenix Park Summer Programme-Discovery in the Park: In the fifth year of collaboration between ECOUNESCO, the OPW and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, 95 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 develop participant’s confidence, team work skills and their sensitivity towards the environment.

ECO-UNESCO’s workshop series includes; 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.

Discover Primary Science and Maths

Finding out all about trees on a DPSM workshop in Merrion Square

Environmental Workshops In 2012 we delivered a range of our workshops including ECO-Leader, ECO-Discovery, ECO-Action, DPSM, and programme workshops to participants in ECO-UNESCO Clubs, schools, youth organisations on a wide range of issues including waste, energy, biodiversity, water, climate change, creative recycling among others. In 2012 the following workshops were delivered; • 2 ECO-UNESCO workshops to 65 young people (age 13-18)

In September of 2012 ECO-UNESCO became an accredited DPSM organisation and began offering a range of workshops and workshop series which link into the formal primary school science and maths curricula. 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 2012 ECO-UNESCO delivered three workshops to over 70 students 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 occasion in 2012. Each party offered a fun filled day of eco-activities with an environmental twist!

• 3 creative recycling workshops to 67 children (age 5-12) • 3 DPSM workshops to 75 children (age 5-12) • 4 environmental awareness workshops delivered to 118 children (age 6-12) • 12 prevention education workshops to 28 at risk children (aged 11 to 12 years) • 11 environmental workshops were delivered to 385 young people (age 12-25)

Children enjoying the ECO-Explorers summer holiday camp in July



Green Trails: ECO-UNESCO continued to offer children and young people an opportunity to participate in the Green Trail of Dublin which explores nature and heritage in the city. Twelve Green Trails were delivered to 175 participants between February and November 2012. An additional free Green Trail was offered to young people aged 15-17 to celebrate National Tree Week in March.

Young people enjoying a green trail

Urban Ecology: Curriculum links continued in 2012 with the urban ecology days which were developed in order to link strongly with the Social Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE). Second level students explored green spaces in Dublin and Cork city centre, and learned about urban ecology and the biodiversity present in it. Participants also learn practical scientific skills for identifying species of native plants and animals, whilst gaining a greater appreciation for local surroundings.

of Dublin city centre

ECO-Youth (12-18 years) ECO-UNESCO at the Dublin City of Science: In July, ECO-UNESCO, in collaboration with the SEAI celebrated Dublin’s hosting of the City of Science with a week of free, day-long interactive youth workshops focusing on energy. The Energy Explorers workshops engaged young people in energy, what it is, where it comes from and how much energy they use in their everyday lives. Young people participated in interactive, fun workshops that explored climate change and energy in a hands-on and practical way and used experiments relevant to young people’s daily lives such as investigating the amount of energy used for a mobile phone.

Green Teen Youth Club: The Green Teen Youth Club which began in November 2011 went from strength to strength in 2012. The Club made up of 15-18 year olds met regularly throughout the year and organised two excursions, to Belfast and to Howth and organised a number of activities such as beach clean ups in Bray. The club also produced a short eco documentary called Mission Green Possible that aimed to raise awareness among young people about how their day to day actions such as charging phones and using computers can have a negitave effect on the environment.

Celebrating Dublin’s hosting of the City of Science with an energy workshop in association with the SEAI

Green teens on their excursion to Howth

Teen Camps: In August, the first ever ECO-UNESCO Teen Summer Camp took place. Based at the Greenhouse, the action packed week-long series of environmental workshops for young people (aged 12-18) had activities focused on learning about the natural heritage of various habitats close to Dublin’s city centre. Day-trips to the Grand Canal, the River Liffey and Urban Parklands were included in the camp, along with classroom workshops and creative activities around biodiversity. Supported by the Heritage Council, the camps were provided free of charge to participants. Green Teens carry out a beach clean up in Bray



Environmental EnvironmentalYouth YouthProgrammes Programmes ECO-Youth National Youth Meeting: Young Global Citizens for Sustainable Development

ECO-UNESCO’s “Youth Exploring RIO+20 – A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting”

In March 2012, ECO-UNESCO hosted a seminar entitled “Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development” with 60+ young people and their leaders from all over Ireland including Monaghan, Galway, Dublin and Antrim. Supported by the Youth in Action Programme and Irish Aid, participants explored becoming active citizens around the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Brazil in June 2012.

ECO-UNESCO’s “Youth Exploring RIO+20 – A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting”, supported by the European’s Union’s Youth In Action programme, took place from 29th November – 1st December 2012. 52 young people aged 15-18 from Malta, France, Latvia, Italy and Ireland (Co. Cork, Co. Kerry, Co. Dublin & Dublin city) attended along with their leaders and engaged in intercultural dialogue with young people from different social, cultural and national backgrounds.

RTÉ News European Correspondent, Paul Cunningham, opened the event with an inspiring talk about how young people could use their voice to get leaders and politicians in their community to take action. He encouraged young people to use social media to have their voices heard. Paul spoke about his own experiences covering environmental issues globally, specifically talking about the implications of climate change on the developing world. During the seminar, the young people attended three workshops including: • Active citizenship • Rio+20 and the Millennium Development Goals • Photography

The objective of the seminar was to engage young people in a structured dialogue about the outcomes of RIO+20 UN Conference and how these can be used as a tool for positive change on a local, national and European level. During the seminar, young people met with an array of Irish policy makers and experts such as Eamon Ryan (Leader of the Green Party), Dr. Matt Crowe (EPA) and Naoise Ó’Muirí (Lord Mayor of Dublin) and had the opportunity to ask them questions relating to Rio+20. Throughout the three day seminar young people’s understanding of the responsibilities of active citizenship in a national and EU context was developed, their knowledge of sustainable development was built upon and their leadership and communications skills enhanced. Based on the dialogue between the young people, policy makers and other experts, strategic environmental action plans were created during the transnational youth seminar which the young people took home to their respective counties and countries to put into action.

Young people from St. Louis Secondary School Monaghan pictured with Paul Cunningham at the National Youth Meeting in March

In the afternoon, young people were given the opportunity to address a three person panel including a representative from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s International and Sustainable Development Section on issues they wanted to see addressed at Rio+20. The young people also raised general issues around sustainable development that they felt were important for Ireland and the rest of the world. As a follow-up to this event, young people were invited to submit photographs for an exhibition entitled “Camera on Citizenship – Global Views” which was launched at the Greenhouse on 19th of June (the day before the official beginning of the Rio+20 UN conference in Brazil) along with a “Young Person’s Guide to Rio+20 and the Millennium Development Goals” resource that was developed by ECO-UNESCO in consultation with young people.



Environmental Youth Environmental YouthProgrammes Programmes ECO-UNESCO Clubs Programme 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 action. In 2012 the ECO-UNESCO Clubs programme engaged over 150 affiliated groups and clubs across 26 counties with 38 new groups joining during the year.

Case Study: Operation Rainwater After conducting an energy audit of their water usage, Clara Youthreach discovered that they paid a lot in water changes to hydrate their seedlings, flowers and vegetables. They received a grant from ECO-UNESCO through the Toyota Clubs in Action fund to purchase equipment to harvest rainwater. They then researched rainwater harvesting systems and discovered how to use a gravity flow system to carry the water from the tank to the garden. The tank also supplied the self watering table in their poly tunnel. The new system helped reduce their water charges and carbon footprint and even made their veg taste even better!

The Ballymun Regional Youth Resource Centre ECO-UNESCO Club, pictured at the YEA Leinster Regional ECO-Den

ECO-UNESCO Clubs in Action: Following on from the success of the Clubs programme in 2011, ECO-UNESCO continued its partnership with Toyota Ireland for a second year in 2012. Toyota continued to donate a Toyota Prius car to ECO-UNESCO and to assist with the delivery of the Clubs in Action programme nationwide. They also supported a Club of the Year Award at the 2012 Young Environmentalist Awards. In 2012, the ECO-UNESCO Clubs in Action Programme assisted 18 clubs around the country to carry out environmental action projects. The provision of seed grants allowed these groups to buy materials required to carry out action projects in their local area. In December 2012, ECO-UNESCO held a showcase in The Greenhouse highlighting the work carried out by the clubs. The exhibition consisted of posters made by the young people with a project description and photographs of their initiative.

St. Brigid’s Loughrea ECO-UNESCO Club receive their award as Toyota Club of the Year at the Young Environmentalist Awards 2012

Green Teen Anti-Litter Initiative In October and November 2012, six ECO-UNESCO Clubs were supported through the Anti-Litter Awareness Fund, to set up waste and litter action projects through the ECO-UNESCO Green Teen Anti-Litter Initiative which was supported by 5 different local authorities (Dun Laoighaire/Rathdown, South Dublin, Mayo, County Galway and Kilkenny). The Green Teen Anti-Litter Initiative was carried out in each of these areas in 2012 with a total of eight workshops delivered to 95 young people. The training up-skilled the participants in best practice waste education and gave them the skills that they need to carry out a waste and/or litter action project in their school, youth club, or community.

Rugby star Paul O’Connell pictured with National Director Elaine Nevin and young ECO-UNESCO club members at the launch of ECO-UNESCO’s Clubs in Action programme 2012 supported by Toyota

Linking in with ther ECO-UNESCO programmes New clubs were established directly through other ECO-UNESCO programmes such as the ECOUNESCO Youth for Sustainable Development Peer Education Programme. These groups include #LFN, Tenacious Trees, Polarwares and New Waves. 10 10

Rugby star Paul O’Connell pictured with ECO-UNESCO club members


Environmental Youth Programmes ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards Ireland’s biggest celebration of young people taking ECO-Action! 25,000+ Young people involved since 1999 615 Young people attended training on how to complete an ECO-Action project 205 Projects registered for ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2012 38 Teachers and youth leaders attended ECO-UNESCO’s ‘6 Steps to Success’ training 60 Projects shortlisted for the Gala Showcase & Awards Ceremony 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 25,000 young people. In 2012, 205 projects registered to the Young Environmentalist Awards. A number of provinces such as Connaught and Ulster saw a dramatic rise in participation with a 63% increase in the programme participation. Nationally, the programme experienced a 25% increase. There was a 55% increase in youth group participation between the 2011 and 2012 programme. The figures 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. 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.

2012 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 almost 4,000 young people attending. Sixty groups from the ECO-Dens were selected to go forward to the YEA Final.

Showcase and Awards Ceremony 2012

The culmination of all the participants hard work came to fruition at The Young Environmentalist Awards 2012 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 the 8th of May 2012 in the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin. The 60 projects shortlisted for the final made it the largest YEA Showcase and Awards ceremony to date. Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Andrew Montague 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 11 judges. In addition to the 60 projects on display in the Round Room, there were six environmental themed zones such as the Bio-Zone, Creative Recycling Zone, ECO-Talent Zone and Rio-Zone. 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, as per previous years, proved to be a high profile, exciting and at times even suspense filled event!

The 2012 Young Environmentalist Awards were supported by Gold Funders: Department of Children and Youth Affairs National Development Plan The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Silver Funders: EPA Department of Transport Bronze Sponsors: Toyota Cork County Council Waste Matchers Dublin City Council ECO-Dens Sponsors: Clare County Council, Galway County Council, Kerry

lerno ple from Sa Young peo l, o ho Sc ry Seconda e tured at th Galway pic -Den O EC ht ug Conna

, newal Group Waterloo Re r bird boxes ei th ith w ed Cork, pictur r ECO-Den at the Munste

County Council, Limerick County Council, Longford County Council, Mayo County Council, Roscommon County Council.

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EnvironmentalYouth YouthProgrammes Programmes Environmental

Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs delivers the keynote address at the Young Environmentalist Awards 2012

Minister Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs delivered the keynote address on the day, while the ceremony was hosted by RTE’’s Stephen Byrne. Over 20 awards were presented by high profile guests from a range of sectors including Mary Cunningham of the NYCI (and Chief YEA Judge) and Matt Crow, Director of the EPA. The Mundo Capoeira Dancers provided entertainment on the day as did the young people themselves giving the audience a great mix of singing and dancing throughout the ceremony.

Overall Senior Winners 2012 This group from St Joseph’s Summerhill, Co. Roscommon introduced a worm composting system in their school. Their project was used to reduce the amount of food waste leaving the school and to produce quality compost for St. Joseph’s organic garden. A wormery box and worms were purchased from a grant received from Roscommon County Council and this was set up in a suitable location within the school grounds. The group studied how worms break down organic matter and applied this learning in practice. Through their project, the group successfully produced their own compost for use in their garden and gained important team building and problem solving skills in the process.

Exhibition and Video 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 ECOUNESCO YouTube channel. Futher showcasing the talent of the YEA winners, an exhibition of their projects took place in the Greenhouse throughout the summer of 2012, allowing members of the public to view finalists’ projects and learn more about their local action endeavours.

Overall Senior Winners, St. Joseph’s Summerhill, Co Roscommon

Overall Junior Winners, Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College, Co. Antrim

Curriculum Links and Transition Year Module 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.

Andrew Montague, Lord Mayor of Dublin 2012 pictured with Elaine Nevin, National Director ECO-UNESCO and YEA finalists at the Showcase and Awards Ceremony in the Mansion House

People’s Choice Award Allowing the public to have their say on the awards, the People’s Choice online poll returned for a second year with over 30,000 votes cast from the public all over Ireland. 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.

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Senior Energy Winners, young people from . rs, St Energy Winne niorKillian’s SeSt. in bl , Du School School, Dublin ’s German KillianGerman


Environmental Youth Programmes Environmental Youth Programmes Youth For Sustainable Development (YSD)

ors day trip to Peer Educat ay Br Head

“Gandhi was one person and he affected a lot of change globally. He inspires people and you can inspire people the way he did.” YSD Peer Educator

ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development Programme 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 2012 participants included young people from various countries including Ireland, India, Afghanistan, Niger, Ukraine, China, the Philippines, Israel, Kosovo, Romania, Pakistan, Afganistan, DRC, Nigeria and Moldovia.

YSD: Peer Education Programme Peer Education Phase One • Weekly meetings at the Greenhouse • Workshops on sustainable development, trade justice, Millennium Development Goals, climate change, peer education, action planning and global active citizenship • Preparatory sessions in creating materials for the Biodiversity and Rio+20 sustainable development zones at the YEA Showcase • Field trips to Fota Island Wildlife Park, Sonairte National Ecology Centre Bray Head and BullIsland for World Wetland Day • Comhlámh’s FairTrade Fortnight where one of the members entered and won the Comhlámh ‘Take a Step for Trade Justice’ competition Peer Education Phase Two • Between May and December 2012 the two groups (#LFN and Tenacious Trees) that were involved in phase 1 which started in October 2011 and January 2012 progressed to phase 2 and phase 3. • LFN (#LoveForNature) organised two biodiversity workshops in their local community of Walkinstown with 133 primary school students and later held a clean up of Walkinstown Park with the students. • Involved in: 20 support sessions (2 hours) to create a 3D Web of Life and ecological pyramid which they facilitated at the Biozone at the Young Environmentalist Awards in May 2012 • Attended: Various external events including the VSI screening of a film regarding the experience of an asylum seeking young person in Ireland. A tour of Dublin City’s Urban Farm and City Composting. • Tenacious Trees created a short animation entitled ‘Love for Trees’ which focused on deforestation. The film premiered at the Greenhouse on 7th November to a group of 35 other peer educators and 13 ECO-UNESCO staff. • Involved in: 20 support sessions (2 hours) to create activities and materials for the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Zone at the Young Environmentalist Awards in May 2012. • Attended: Training with Young Irish Film Makers on how to create animation videos and a tour of Dublin City’s Urban Farm and City Composting. Peer Education Phase Three and Four • This group of young people called New Waves began 2012 in phase 3 of the programme and then progressed to phase 4 in August 2012. While a group of young people called the Polawares continued to be involved in phase 4 of the programme during 2012. • Involved in: 34 support meetings (2 hours) to carry out their action projects throughout the year. • Participated in the Food Co-op Showcase and Festival on Fade Street (Yestival) in Dublin City Centre on Saturdays in June where they showcased the peddle-powered smoothie bike they built to educate people about sustainable (renewable) energy and transport and its link to climate justice. • Coordinated: A large event called ‘Grasstonbury 2’ with 150 people of all ages in attendance at Father Collins Park (Ireland’s first wholly sustainable park) The event took place on Nelson Mandela International Day (which focuses on encouraging people to take action) and so the young people were joined by South African Ambassador Nudo along with staff from his embassy. • Attended: A trip to the People’s Rainforest in Dublin in September 2012 where they learned about the people of the Amazon and the threat deforestation poses for them and future generations (Polawares).

Programme supported by 13



Environmental YouthProgrammes Programmes Environmental Youth YSD: Training for Educators Youth Workers and Leaders As part of the programme, several key events are organised annually to raise awareness and understanding in young people nationwide on sustainability issues as well as inspiring them to get involved and take positive action at a local level. In 2012, key events included the following: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Exploratory Event: Road to Rio+20 took place in January 2012 with 30 educators, youth works and leaders explored how best to engage and mobilise young people to be active on the issues of sustainable development leading up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June and beyond. Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development: A National Youth Meeting for Rio+20 was hosted by ECO-UNESCO in March 2012. Over 60 young people from all over Ireland were invited to participate in interactive activities and workshops with the aim of engaging young people in dialogue about becoming active citizens around the upcoming Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development and the Millennium Development Goals. Paul Cunningham, RTÉ European Correspondent and author of “Ireland’s Burning”, opened the event with an inspiring talk about how young people could use their voice to get leaders and politicians in their community to take action specifically mentioning the implications of non-action on the developing world. Camera on Citizenship-Global Views: Following the seminar in March, young people were invited to submit photographs on what active global citizenship for sustainable development means to them. Photos were submitted by young people form various counties including Clare, Kerry, Dublin, Louth, Monaghan, Cork and Limerick where their photographs were entered into a voting competition in the Greenhouse and online. Dublin +20 Celebration on June 19: Held at the start of the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil, this was organised to launch the “Camera on Citizenship – Global Views” photographic exhibition and the “Young Person’s Guide to Rio+20 and the Millennium Development Goals” with over 20 young people in attendance. Young people sent personal messages to the Minister of the Environment on their hopes for how promises made at the original Earth Summit in 1992 and new promises made at Rio+20 would be carried out here in Ireland.

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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. The Cavan Centre and Larch Hill International Scout and Guide Centre were awarded the silver ECO-Sustainability Award while Clara Youthreach and RehabCare Bray successfully completed the second pilot and were awarded Bronze ECO-Sustainability Awards in May 2012. The third pilot was launched in September 2012 with ten youth and community organisations participating. All groups attend a free training day and receive ongoing support from ECO-UNESCO as well as the revised ECO-Sustainability Award Handbook and Toolkit offering a step-by-step guide to adopting a whole organisation approach to sustainability and education for sustainable development.

#LFN show their real Love For Nature #LFN (LoveForNature) organised two biodiversity workshops in their local community of Walkinstown with 133 primary school students from from Drimnagh Castle Primary and Assumption Primary Schools. These workshops were organised two weeks prior to the #LFN’s Walkinstown Park Environmental and Global Fun Day. The wokshops prepared the primary school students for five biodiversity actions in the park on that day. On 14 June 2012, the #LFN group carried out a clean up of Walkinstown Park in the morning and following this; facilitated an environmental fun day with 90 6th class students from the two schools.


Environmental EnvironmentalYouth YouthProgrammes Programmes ECO-Choices Programme

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 2012, 522 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. ECOUNESCO delivered this 10-12 week programme to 44 at ‘risk young’ people from areas in Dublin and Wicklow. Peer Education Training: The ECO-Youth Choices Peer Education training works to empower young people to become peer educators for change in their communities. In 2012 35 “at risk” peer educators delivered 20 drug prevention education workshops and event activities to 380 peers (aged 12 to 19 years). This included young peer facilitators delivering 12 SPHE (Social Personal Health Education) sessions to 28 young people in the formal education sector. One of the peer educators’ events involved the creation of a drug awareness raising film which they launched at a day long youth led forum to 45 peers from their communities.

critical and relational thinking, decision making/ consequence learning and self awareness. They developed know how and skills 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. ECO Choices Training for Trainers: In 2012, ECO-UNESCO 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 non-formal 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 ECOChoices Resource Pack,’ to support their work. In 2012, 3 trainings were delivered to 38 youth leaders from projects in Crumlin, Ballyfermot and Clarehall in Dublin; Inner City Cork; Mountmellick, Laois; Moyross, Limerick City, Dublin city centre and Europewide.

Outdoor Education: ECO-UNESCO offers young people (age 12-21) the opportunity to explore their natural environment 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 2012 including excursions to the Barnaslingan Wood, Kiltiernan, Dublin; Browns Castle Woods, Terron, Co Wexford and Newtownmountkennedy Coilte Woodlands; Co Wicklow. FETAC: Due to changes in FETAC validation the ECO Youth Choices Community Development FETAC L3 module has been re-validated into a FETAC award: Community Participation. ECOUNESCO redeveloped our handbook, content and assessment procedures in line with these changes. The resulting ECO-Community Development (Community Participation FETAC Level 3 Award) was delivered to 48 young people (age 16). 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,




Environmental Youth Programmes Education & Training Programmes 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 nonaccredited training courses from both its base in the Greenhouse in Dublin city centre and via its outreach facility.

Accredited Training In 2012 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 (New FETAC Accredited Course for 2013) Green Pathways: Youth Employment Programme In 2012, ECO-UNESCO developed a new proposal called Green Pathways. The programmed is aimed at increasing the employability of young people aged 25 and under through an integrated programme of accredited trainings, work placement and on-going mentoring and support. The aim is to help young people develop their skills and provide them with the confidence to progress to further or higher education or employment. The programme was successful in receiving funding under the government run Momentum initiative and the course will begin in 2013.

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

Short Courses Along with its FETAC accredited courses, ECOUNESCO also deliver a range of short, one day courses. In 2012 these courses included: • ECO-Community Garden Training • ECO-Watchers Teachers and Leaders • Training covering topics: waste, energy, climate, water • Youth work and sustainability training • Peer education and sustainability training

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• ECO-UNESO Club Trainings • Media and Sustainable Development • Young Environmentalist Awards workshop

Training Advanced short trainings focusied on professional education development, personal professional development and organisational development • Environmental Education (Course 1 Trends and Developments; Course 2 Curriculum Links)

• Drugs Prevention Training for Trainers

• ECO-Sustainablity Award (Becoming a sustainable organisation)

• 6 Steps to Success: Young Environmentalist Awards Training

• Leadership and Strategic Sustainable Development


Environmental Youth Programmes Education & Training Programmes 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 2012 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.

Professional Work Placement Case Studies In 2012, ECO-UNESCO continued to offer internships to young people seeking to gain valuable work experience and skills. In May, Rory Harte began a 9 month internship with ECO-UNESCO, working with the Communications and Fundraising Officer. Rory gained a lot of valuable experience in helping to identify funding offers, writing applications and securing funding from a variety of sources such as local authorities. Rory also worked closely on a number of communications campaigns and learned skills relating to social and traditional media. Following completion of his internship with ECO-UNESCO, Rory went on to secure a position as Media Officer with the European Green Party in Brussels. Emma Mulhern completed an internship with ECOUNESCO in January of 2012. Having worked on the Youth for Sustainable Development project for over 6 months, Emma gained experience in reviewing and updating policies, proposal writing and workshop facilitation with young people. In the spring of 2012, Emma was recruited to work on the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Zimbabwe as their Communications Programme Assistant.

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y and alumni d Ceremonon FETAC Awar Greenhouse eeting at the netwaork m

O’s at ECO-UNESC Taking note le ab in to Susta Introduction L5) AC ET (F t en Developm

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Publications & Educational Resources Environmental Youth Programmes

In 2012, 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 2012 include:


Biodiversity Super Cards

This shortlisted projects booklet contains the summaries of the top 60 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 booklet illustrates the huge variety of projects submitted to the YEA in 2012 and the level of environmental awareness and innovation of the Irish youth in combating a range of environmental issues such as biodiversity, waste, energy, climate change and water.

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.

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.

Reduce Reuse Recycle Creative Recycling Resource Pack

Young Person’s Guide to Rio+20 and the Millennium Development Goals This booklet was developed with the help of young people who attended the Global Youth Citizens for Sustainable Development Seminar and ECO-UNESCO’s own peer educators who participated in the Youth for Sustainable Development Programme. It provides background information on Rio+20 and the Millennium Development Goals but most importantly, it equips young people with ideas on what they can do to take action and make a difference.

Annual Newsletter 2012/2013 The ECO-UNESCO newsletter was issued in autumn and distributed to ECO-UNESCO members as well as thousands of schools, youth centres and libraries across the country. The newsletter played a valuable role in informing people about the organisation’s work, the projects ECO-UNESCO were involved in over a 12 month period, as well as providing an information on upcoming events and trainings for young people and adults.

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, encourages and up-skills young people to take part in local community gardening projects.


Offering organisations a step by step guide on how to improve the sustainability of their organisation. Completion of the steps including auditing is aimed at leading to ECO-Sustainability Awards which can be achieved at three levels; gold, silver and bronze.

In Production:

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2012 Booklet

ECO-Community Garden Resource

ECO Sustainability Award Handbook

This activity resource pack for children and young people was also under development in 2012.This resource aims at up-skilling youth leaders and teachers to apply environmental education and methods to their youth work.

Provision of information and awarenessraising 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.


Environmental Youth Programmes Communications & Representation Media & Public Relations

ECO-UNESCO continued to have a strong media presence in 2012. ECO-UNESCO events received substantial coverage in both regional and national media including, print, tv and radio. In 2012, 246 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 other events. TG4 and 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 2012 ECO-UNESCO launched its new look website. The new website provides information in a more streamlined fashion with a separate ECO-Kids, Teens and Education and Training section. 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 to name a few. In 2012, our Young Environmentalist Awards blog continued to be visited by participants and the general public allowing them to stay updated on YEA happenings.

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 2012, ECO-UNESCO was represented on a variety of committees and boards including; • Irish Environmental Network Board (IEN) Board Membership • Representation on National Youth Council Ireland (NYCI) bodies including:

• NYCI Board • NYCI Annual Conference representation • 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 Membership (Steering committee) • Attendance at the 9th annual conference of the National Association of Youthreach coordinators (NAYC) • Drug Educators Workers Forum


As part of the 2012 outreach programme, ECOUNESCO attended a number of events and conferences including; Cork Discovery Exhibition; Dublin 12 Youth Forum; Environmental Ecological Non-Governmental Organisation events; National Youth Council of Ireland AGM; Showcase of Youth Work NYCI;TCD Green Week; UCD Green Society Exhibition; Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Eco-Forum; Lough Neagh Discovery Centre Eco-Forum; NYCI / Irish Aid ‘One World’ Day; and the CSPE Teachers Conference, Dublin.

g Educators Workers Forum. ECO-UNESCO is an advocate for environmental EECO-UNESCO is an advocate for environmental education, education for sustainable development and

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Collaborative Environmental YouthWorking Programmes Throughout 2012, 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 2012 includes; • Collaborative work with institutions including Local Authorities, National Libraries and schools throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland • Strategic partnership meetings with National Association of Youthreach Centres, National Youth Council Ireland (NYCI), and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) • ECO-UNESCO continued to have a presence with young people in schools throughout Ireland in a non-formal capacity through extra curricular activities and project work. In 2012 ECO-UNESCO projects included the Young Environmentalist Awards, DPSM, a range of environmental workshops, ECO-UNESCO Clubs and youth eco forums.

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

Young People in Youthreach ECO-UNESCO further developed its links with Youthreach in 2012 in order to provide training to early school leavers. In particular ECOUNESCO provided the ‘Introduction to Sustainable Development’ (FETAC L5) to 10 at risk young people who completed fourteen training sessions held over a ten week period.

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.


Local Authorities

ECO-UNESCO works with Local Authorities nationwide through funding from the Environmental Partnership Fund. 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.

VECs ECO-UNESCO is in contact with youth officers in VECs across the country to explore the potential of collaborative work. VECs contacted include Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Tipperary North, Tipperary South, Wexford and Wicklow.

Others As part of our outreach, ECO-UNESCO also participated in a range of festivals and events including Culture Night 2012, and the Cinemagic Festival 2012. The organisation also linked with key events throughout 2012 such as the Dublin City of Science Festival by hosting, in association with the SEAI, a series of free Exploring Energy workshops for young people.

Libraries In 2012 ECO-UNESCO worked with Fingal County Libraries as part of the Global Responsibilities Programme: Climate Change & Sustainability, kindly supported by Fingal County Environment Section and the Department of Environment. A total of 4 workshops were delivered to young people who learned about climate change & sustainability and how to utilise their local libraries as information and literacy hubs to research climate change issues. ECO-UNESCO also delivered 3 day workshops with thematic focus on energy and waste themes as part of its ECO-Watchers programme to young people in Louth and Monaghan, Limerick, with the kind support of the local libraries there. Furthermore ECOUNESCO invited young people to use their creativity and imagination at interactive ECO-UNESCO creative recycling stations in Lucan Library and Tallaght Library.


Northern IrelandYouth and International Links Environmental Programmes ECO-UNESCO is committed to working with young people from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In 2012, 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.

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2012 In March the ECO-Dens were once again supported by the Craigavon Borough Council, Co. Antrim. The council hosted the Ulster semi-final ‘ECODen’ 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 35 entries from Northern Ireland to the YEA in 2012, involving more than 500 people.

supported by the European’s Union’s Youth In Action programme, took place from 29th November – 1st December 2012. 52 young people aged 15-18 from UNESCO clubs in Malta, France, Latvia, Italy and Ireland attended along with their leaders and engaged in intercultural dialogue with young people from different social, cultural and national backgrounds. Each of the groups who participated retuned to their home countries inspired by the guest speakers and workshops they were involved in to carry out their own eco-action project. The link with these UNESCO clubs will continue into 2013 when National Director Elaine Nevin makes a return visit to them.


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 2012, 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 Afghanistan, Niger, Ukraine, China and the Philippines.

Limoges Study Visit: In Janury 2012 the ECOUNESCO National Director, Elaine Nevin attended a Study Visit in Limoges France entitled “Employment and self-employment in depressed rural areas: innovative methods” which was attended by 8 participants from European countries. The focus of Study Visits was to share experience, to learn from each other and to develop connections for potential future collaboration. The visit explored entrepreneurship and innovation, education and training programmes and employment opportunities in rural areas of France; it promoted and encouraged entrepreneurship and incorporated a mixture of workshops, presentations and visits to local NGOs and businesses.

International Engagement Forum for a Multicultural Europe: In October, National Director Elaine Nevin was invited by the European Youth Forum for a Multicultural Europe to deliver the keynote address at their conference ‘Our Planet: Not Inherited Only Borrowed’. The forum was run by the National Youth Service in Luxembourg and explored the concept of sustainable development. It was attended by over 80 young people from across Europe and was a mixture of interactive workshops and informative site visits to local areas demonstrating sustainability in action. Rio+20: In November 2012, ECO-UNESCO hosted a number of young people and their leaders from UNESCO Clubs all over Europe including Malta, France, Slovenia and Italy. ECO-UNESCO invited these clubs to participate in the Rio+20 transnational youth forum. The “Youth Exploring RIO+20 – A UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting”,


particip ants fr om UN over E ESCO urope Clubs in disc the Tra all ussion nsnatio at n al You held in the Gre th Meeting enhou se




EnvironmentalFunding Youth Programmes ECO-UNESCO is funded by a variety of organisations contributing to both the overall development of the organisation and project specific work. In 2012, 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.

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 • Cork County Council – WasteMatchers Award Sponsorship (YEA)

ECO-UNESCO’s main core funding comes from: • Youth Service Grant, administered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs

ECO-UNESCO received additional 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

ECO-UNESCO received a range of funding related to specific projects including: • ECO-Choices: Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund, administered by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs • Youth for Sustainable Development: Irish Aid • Young Environmentalist Awards: Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the National Development Plan 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

ECO-UNESCO receives support and funding through corporate sponsorship: • ECO-UNESCO worked in a collaborative relationship with Toyota Ireland. Toyota supported the ECO-UNESCO Clubs in Action programme and also supported ECO-UNESCO’s programmes through the donation of a Toyota Prius to the organisation and by providing a special award and development fund for the ECO-UNESCO Club of the year as part of the Young Environmentalist Awards programme.

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





Where we work







Cavan Louth

Mayo Roscommon


Key: Actvity Type per County*



Environmnetal Youth Programmes


Galway Offaly


Kildare Laois

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards Projects 2012


Clare Carlow





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



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Young Environmentalists 2012

Teen Camp 2012



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

ECO-UNESCO Annual Report 2012  

ECO-UNESCO's 2012 Annual Report

ECO-UNESCO Annual Report 2012  

ECO-UNESCO's 2012 Annual Report