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ECO-UNESCO Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisation

ECO-UNESCO Youth for Sustainable Development Conference 2010

h t u o y e r for u t u f e h t CONFERENCE REPORT

ECO-UNESCO, The Greenhouse 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 (0) 1 662 5491 Fax: +353 (01) 1 662 5493 Email: Web:

Wednesday 22nd September 2010

forward On 22 September 2010, ECO-UNESCO held an intergenerational conference titled Youth for the Future: learning to change our world. The conference was attended by young people and adults and addressed the role of Education for Sustainable Development in creating a more sustainable world. nd

In a time of great challenges, ECO-UNESCO believes that young people, both in Ireland and the rest of the world are in a position to be listened to and encouraged to be real agents of change. To achieve such change, ECO-UNESCO sees Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which is grounded in the experience of the individual, their community and their environment, as essential. ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for the Future conference forms part of ECO-UNESCO’s work for the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014. The approach ECO-UNESCO takes to ESD identifies and links the experience of young people, their peers and communities and environment in Ireland to global issues and the experience of young people in the developing world. This holistic approach adopts a global perspective where the interactions between economics, environment and society are explored. Through this, broader development issues such as poverty reduction, environmental protection and cultural diversity are highlighted. ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for the Future conference was held as part of ECOUNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development Programme which is funded by Irish Aid. The purpose of each of our seminars and conferences is to share good practice in ESD within the youth, environment, development and education sectors.

about eco-unesco ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation. ECO-UNESCO is affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO clubs, centres and associations. ECO-UNESCO develops and delivers environmental education and youth programmes for young people, youth leaders and teachers.

ECO-UNESCO aims to: • • • •

Raise environmental 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

ECO-UNESCO Services and Programmes ECO-UNESCO provides a wide range of Services and Programmes. These include: 1. Environmental Youth ProgrammesEnvironmental Events and Activities, Environmental Workshops, ECO-UNESCO Clubs, ECO-Youth Choices Programme and the Youth for Sustainable Development Programme. 2. Training Programmes These include One-Day Training Courses for teachers and leaders as well as FETAC accredited courses (Level 5 Sustainable Development, Level 3 Community Development). 3. The Young Environmentalist Awards The Young Environmentalist Awards honours the work of young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who protect, conserve and enhance our environment through local environmental projects, making a difference to their lives and the lives of others locally and globally 4. Education Resources These include resource packs, activity packs, posters and CD-ROMs focused on environmental education, ESD and environmental youth work aimed at young people, leaders and teachers 5. Consultancy Consultancy services are offered to groups and agencies that want a specialist approach to environmental education, environmental youth work and ESD.

1. introduction On 22nd September 2010 ECO-UNESCO welcomed 70 participants from all over Ireland to take part in their conference Youth for the Future – learning to change our world. The participants included young people as well as practitioners from the youth, environment, development and education sectors. This report documents the programme and outcomes of the conference which continues ECO-UNESCO’s work on the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). The conference was documented using graphic recording, and this report will incorporate some aspects of this innovative method of recording and presenting information.

2. aims of the conference The conference had three main aims: 1. To reflect on current ESD/DE practice in the context of working with young people. 2. To connect young people and practitioners in the youth, environment, development and education sectors 3. To explore how ESD can be used in working with young people in nonformal education

3. the programme 3.1 outline of conference 09.30 – 10.00 Registration 10.00 – 10.30 Welcome and address by Elaine Nevin, Director, ECO-UNESCO 10.30 – 10.50 Keynote Speech by Anne Finlayson, SEEd (Sustainability and Environmental Education) & UK Sustainable Development Commission 10.50 – 11.10 What is ESD? Interactive Activity 11.10 – 11.30 Break for refreshments 11.30 – 12.45 Reflecting on ESD: Short presentations on current good practice in ESD Presentations from ECO-UNESCO Peer Education for Sustainable Development and Mayfield Community Arts. 12.45 – 13.15 Is it working? Round table discussion 1 Is current practice in Education for Sustainable Development and Development Education challenging young people and helping them find a path to a sustainable future? 13.15 – 14.00 Lunch and exhibition stands 14.00 – 15.20 Sharing ESD: Choice of ECO-UNESCO workshops •

Workshop One: Peer Education for Sustainable Development

Workshop Two: Building ESD into your Work with Young People

Workshop Three: Linking Global to Local in Dublin City Centre – Using ESD in Outdoor Education

15.20 – 15.45 Using ESD: Round table discussion 2 How can we incorporate ESD in everything we do, in the best possible way? 15.45 – 16.00 Closing remarks and evaluation 16.00 – 16.30 Launch of ECO-UNESCO’s new Youth for the Future Peer Education handbook for young people and adult support workers. All invited for refreshments and a post-conference chat.

3.2 welcome and keynote speech The conference began with a welcome and address from from the National Director of ECO-UNESCO Elaine Nevin . This was followed by the key note speech by Commissioner for Education and Capability Building for the Sustainable Development Commission, Ann Finlayson.

Welcome and Address: Elaine Nevin National Director, ECO-UNESCO Elaine started off the conference by highlighting the role of ECO-UNESCO as the National Environmental Education and Youth Organisation, and how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has become a central element in its work. One of the main goals of this conference was to share good practice in ESD among organisations and practitioners. ECO-UNESCO has shared its knowledge and experience of ESD through providing consultation on the National Strategy for ESD here in Ireland as well as on the international stage by attending the MidTerm review World Conference of the UNESCO Decade of ESD in March 2009. Currently ECO-UNESCO runs a number of programmes promoting ESD including a FETAC level 5 course in Sustainable Development and a Peer Education for Sustainable Development Programme. Elaine proudly announced how ECO-UNESCO’s Peer Education for Sustainable Development Programme has itself been selected by UNECE as an example of ESD good practice in Ireland as part of their mid-term review. As central to this conference an understanding of ESD good practice is provided by UNECE as: • Focusing on the learning dimensions of sustainable development • Offering new and creative solutions to common problems • Making a difference and demonstrating a positive and tangible impact • Contributing to sustained improvement of living conditions • Can be used as a model to generate policies and initiatives elsewhere • Can be evaluated for innovation, success and sustainability by experts and users Elaine then provided an overview of some of the understandings of key terms being used today:

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development is ‘treating the Earth as if we intend to stay’. (Tickell, 2000) •

Sustainable Development is not just about the environment. It also takes into account all the people on the earth, which we call ‘society’. And all these people use the world’s natural resources to make a living, or ‘economy’.

It is about looking at how the environment, economy and society should all work together in balance

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Education for sustainable development aims to help people to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others now and in the future, and to act upon these decisions. (UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Elaine wrapped up her presentation highlighting the new ECO (ECO Centre and Organisation) Sustainability Award for organisations leading the way to a sustainable future. This seven-step programme encourages, supports, rewards and recognises sustainability in youth and community organisations. As part of the ECO Award programme free training and supports are provided. Organisations can register as one of the key pilot organisations from Sept 2010 to May 2011 by contacting

Keynote Speech: Ann Finlayson Commissioner at UK Sustainable Development Commission & Director of SEEd UK Ann Finlayson, director of SEEd (Sustainability and Environmental Education) presented a number of inspirational stories about learning for sustainability. SEEd is a registered UK charity with the primary objective of enabling more of the education sector to engage with Education for Sustainable Development and environmental education. Ann began by highlighting the difficulties currently faced in the UK with regard to working with young people on sustainability issues, particularly the huge cut in funding to projects. Ann went on to talk about how ESD is not just for young people but how it is for all people, for the future. Youth however have offered perspectives and answers to questions that adults strain to answer as they problem-solve around issues that adults have learned to believe can’t be surmounted. Indeed it is the strength of young people to challenadults and their provision of ‘sideways thinking’ that makes them able to tackle challenges now and in the future. It is only through working together and offering children and young people a voice can awareness result in real action. Story 1: Solar Panels A wonderful story of how a group of 12 students came forward and decided that their school needed a more efficient and sustainable means of energy. This group proceeded to source solar panels for their school and when presented with various logistical problems they began to challenge authority and think outside of the box. They got their own way in the end secured access to the solar panels to have them placed where they can be used as an educational focal point for students and the community alike! The 12 students went on to deliver a manifesto to the government regarding sustainability. However when the time came to present it the solar panel company took over and did not even give the young people the opportunity to speak of their own achievements. This story showed that there are many obstacles for young people, but given the chance they can make a real difference.

Story 2: NEETs

Ann presented the story of young people known as NEETs (Not in Education Employment or Training) that was so inspiring it reduced their own unsuspecting youth leader to tears. The story began at a conference recently attended by Ann. The NEETs that were attending the conference appeared bored and fed up. Ann suggested that this group were tired of talked at and gave them a space to really be heard. The young people were given an opportunity to take part in a creative role play to discuss the issues that affected them. This was the key that opened them up and led to genuine consultation. The young people were asked to present issues as they saw them. The real challenges the young people saw to environmental protection surprised everyone at the conference – for example they felt that public transport was not safe and therefore they had to rely on cars. They highlighted social and environmental issues in their community such as litter and lack of recreational space. As the conference progressed the young people moved from silent and shy and to become speakers taking questions from the audience! Essentially young people have it in them to deliver ideas if you provide a real and authentic space for them to do it.

The Poem

Finally Ann finished on a poem by Tamsin Ireland, a 14-year-old from Bath, England, which she felt beautifully and succinctly defined the issue: We have to see things the right way round There is no hope It is not true that It is always possible to get out of bad situations We must acknowledge that We have made many mistakes Although in the past We knew the consequences We didn’t change then even though The air grew thicker and Made the seas rise Because of our lack of care in 2009 we Have nothing left It is wrong to believe that we Can make a difference as individuals All around the world people should know that we Cannot bring back what we had Even though we Made an effort As people together we Became less and less powerful The droughts, the hurricanes, the floods Grew larger and larger And our will to make things right Disappeared completely before 2020 Selfish attitudes Make things difficult for future generations Some ways we found to create energy did not Ensure that our children can live as well as we do We must TURN THINGS AROUND. (Slightly confused? Read it from the bottom up - turn it around!)

3.2. activity - what is sustainable development? This jigsaw activity was about exploring what ESD is using the ESD methods of group work, idea-storming and art! Each of the 10 tables at the conference received a piece of the jigsaw - one of the ingredients of ESD as shown below. Two of the groups looked at youth and adult roles in ESD; and one group took the overarching ESD as a whole. Following their decorative idea-storm, the jigsaw was slotted together and presented on the window for all participants to view.

Ingredients of ESD: Holistic and interdisciplinary Values-driven

Looking at the big picture, how different issues are connected (social, environmental and economic). Questioning current values and sharing the values and principles underpinning Sustainable Development.


Exploring, identifying and analysing the opportunities and challenges of Sustainable Development.


Addressing local and global issues, and using the language(s) and communication methods that learners most commonly use.


Encouraging learning through a range of different methods (e.g. word, art, drama and other experiences). Allowing learners to participate in decisions that affect them and decisions about how they are to learn.

Participatory decision making Action oriented

Allowing learners to identify how to put their knowledge and skills into action


Integrating learning experiences in day-to-day life


During this activity participants explored these aspects of ESD and what it means to them in their lives. A wheel of ESD was created which illustrated participants’ understanding of ESD. For participants that were not familiar with ESD, this activity explained and displayed the characteristics of ESD in a creative visual way. 3.3. youth presentations - considering current practice Youth groups from ECO-UNESCO and Mayfield Community Arts presented projects and activities that they had done as part of their own peer education programmes. They explained the different ways in which

The graphic recording depicts ECO-UNESCO’s peer educator presentation in the first box and Mayfield Arts in the second. The following question was asked before the presentations: ‘What are the challenges in exploring issues of development and environment with young people?’ First a ‘Pass the Energy’ game was facilitated by ECO-UNESCO’s Peer Educators to get brains and bodies working! All of these ideas fed into the lightbulb image which represents the key responses from the tables to the above question!

they use ESD to explore issues that effect them, their communities and the world through creative activities, foreign exchanges and action projects.

ECO-UNESCO Peer Educators for Sustainable Development Following a short explanation of ESD by ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development Coordinator, Jerrieann Sullivan, some of ECO-UNESCO’s Peer Educators (PEPs) took the stand to explain what their experiences have been. Mark Shipley, Kevin Kavanagh, Niamh Durkin and Ailbhe Kelly discussed their progression as peer educators. They highlighted the many action projects that they have been involved in with the aim of spreading environmental awareness among their peers and making sustainable development issues accessible and fun for young people! These included an environmentally themed fashion show using recycled materials, a documentary about cultural diversity, a music gig in the greenhouse, a fun day out in Bushy Park with their peers to connect with the environment, and starting a garden in their school. Some interesting and amusing stories were shared of the various challenges and successes they encountered on their journey.

Mayfield Arts Global Education Programme The young people from Mayfield Arts in Cork provided an inspirational and emotive presentation on their journey since joining the community arts centre whilst in transition year. Having had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Guatemala as part of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) exchange programme, the young people learnt valuable skills in dance and creative arts as well as building their confidence. They used these new skills to express issues that are important on a local and global level, such as exclusion and racism, through a performance which was screened in Guatemala and presented at ECO-UNESCOs conference. Each of the five representatives from Mayfield Arts offered their own personal experiences and talked of the skills they gained as part of their programme.

The presentations sparked some ideas among participants and a question was asked in response to the presentations: What are the challenges in exploring issues of development and environment with young people? Each person answered this question by writing on a post it and then placing it on the lightbulb picture on the graphic recording! These answers are summarised in the picture. These were then summarised by the graphic recorders. Participants not only answered the question on challenges but provided suggestions for how to overcome them!

The main challenges expressed were: • • • • •

A lack of time and willingness by teachers and youth leaders to explore these issues A lack of knowledge and training on ESD Such issues not being seen as fun or cool by young people A lack of awareness of the importance of Environment and Development issues Young people not caring about these issues.

Some of the ideas for how these challenges could be overcome: • • • • •

Cultivate an awareness of environmental issues and action Listen to youth Use creative methods such as writing and drawing instead of talking – hands on active learning Make these issues relevant and link them to other issues effecting young people Make it fun!

New ideas presented: • • • • • • •

Give young people a voice and let them lead Bring young people to nature and allow them to connect Make these issues interesting and cool! Give hope not doom and gloom Apply hands-on learning Use the media for good Network with other interested people and organisations

4. round table discussions 4.1 question 1

Is Current Practice in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Development Education (DE) challenging young people and putting them on a path to a sustainable present and future? Ten tables of eight people took part in the discussion, with each table having a facilitator and being identified by a colour and a shape (e.g. red circle). The section of graphic recording depicts some of the key ideas from each table explored in response to the above question. The colour and shape of the thought bubble refers to the specific table! A number of ideas were repeated among the tables:

Lack of ESD and DE in mainstream education

It was felt among most of the tables that one of the major challenges was the lack of mainstreaming ESD and DE into formal education. While they were partly covered in CSPE, geography and in some schools through Green Schools programme, it was voluntary, was not reaching a broad enough base and the impact of it was too low. Particularly the orange star emphasised the need for ESD and DE to target the younger generation in primary schools as they felt it would have a stronger impact. It was suggested that all teachers should be trained in ESD and DE and that it would be incorporated into all subjects or have a full subject on its own.

Government unwilling

The government were highlighted a number of times as a central challenge. It was felt that while grassroots projects do exist and are working, the government are not hearing the voices of the people and making the right decisions. The red star table suggested that the Department of Education might not understand the value of ESD.

ESD and DE not widespread or visible enough

The orange circle table in particular felt that while you do hear about ESD and DE it is difficult to know how to get involved and generally community action is not widespread enough. The red star table pushed this further and said that a major challenge was existing hierarchy, tokenism and lip service in the area of ESD and DE , that they were not taken seriously enough. The yellow circle table felt that ESD needs to be connected into all aspects of young people’s lives – home, friends, school, and social scene. Also generally it was felt that people need to see that their lives and those ‘over there’ in other parts of the world are connected; and that a major challenge is making ESD and DE relevant to young peoples lives.

Consumerism and lack of role models

Consumerism was seen as a major challenge for putting young people on the path to sustainable living. Young people are put under a lot of pressure to always have fashionable clothes and gadgets, which leads to a culture of consumerism and waste. It was suggested that there is a lack of role models for younger people and if celebrities took the responsibility to become good role models, the massive power of the media could spread the positive messages.

4.2 question 2

How can we incorporate ESD in our work in the best possible way? This part of the graphic recording depicts some of the key ideas from each table explored in response to the above question. Key Outcomes

Make it relevant!

A key point made was that in order for ESD to be incorporated into work with young people, people need to start questioning and reflecting on everything! As everything is connected, more questions need to be asked around everything we do and how the local relates to the global (e.g. our consumption of goods, clothes, and energy) in order to bridge the gap between ‘their’ problems and ‘our’ problems. This understanding of interdependence makes ESD and DE more relevant to people and has a stronger impact. ESD can be made more relevant by promoting it in a current way such as through facebook, networking, seminars, youth forums, youth groups and advertising.

Incorporate ESD into subjects at school

In response to one of the major challenges perceived in the last round table discussion it was felt that incorporating ESD into school subjects was the way forward. Early education from the first years in school, in the home and general awareness raising could lead to more sustainable behaviour. It was also felt that teachers and leaders need to be provided training in ESD. Participants mentioned that existing actions need to be evaluated and reported on so that follow-up and real learning can occur.

Empower Young people

It was felt that empowering young people is central to addressing sustainability issues. Young people need to come up with their own ideas and lead their own projects with just minimal support from skilled adults and organisations. In fact orange circle suggested young people and adults need to reverse their roles and learn from each other. Also suggested was that young people need to be rewarded for their contribution and given positive feedback.

‘Lead by example’

Two of the tables suggested that we should lead by example when it comes to sustainability issues. Participants suggested that if you live by the principles of sustainable development and show how reflection, awareness and alternative ways of living can work, you can inspire others. Such examples can help others to think about the interconnections between systems and to start living within their environmental limits. The Green Star table put forward that this ‘leading by example’ needs to be done in a simple way: broken down, keeping youth in mind and being positive and passionate about sustainability to inspire others. Think global and act local! It was felt however that teachers and leaders may need more training to be able to lead by example. The young people at one table stated that ‘adults of today should support adults of tomorrow’.

Small steps, jargon free and stay positive!

Participants felt that key to incorporating ESD into the work being done is to do it in small steps so not as to overwhelm people. It needs to be accessible, without any jargon and presented in a positive way! Teamwork, passion and positivity, according to The Green Star table, are the key!

5. the exhibition During lunch, the ground floor of the Greenhouse held an exhibition of various organisations involved in Education for Sustainable Development and Development Education. This colourful display included a presentation from Links Community Development, who were chosen by ECO-UNESCO from submissions as an example of good practice in ESD. The ECO-UNESCO and Mayfield Arts peer educators held stands with information about their activities and were available to talk to other participants about their programmes. Other organisations with presentation stands included IDEA and Irish Aid.

6. workshops Three themed workshops were carried out after lunch, with participants given a choice of which workshop they would like to participate in. A short description of each workshop is given below. 6.1. workshop one: peer education for sustainable development This workshop used ESD activities and games for empowering young people to become Peer Educators for Sustainable Development in their community. ECO-UNESCO Youth for Sustainable Development Project Officer Hedda Dick co-facilitated this workshop with ECO-UNESCO Peer Educators Mark Shipley, Kevin Kavanagh and Nicholas Graydon.

Summary The workshop included: • ‘Human Volleyball’ a fun activity to get to know each other • ‘What is Peer Education’ idea-storm and discussion • ‘What Does a Peer Educator look like?’ a body-mapping activity to explore the characteristics, skills and knowledge of a Peer Educator for Sustainable Development • ‘Alphabet Race’ an energising activity to help groups think about things that are related to sustainable development. • ‘Hands Up!’ an activity to reflect on our own strengths and weaknesses in regard to being or training a Peer Educator. Most of these activities are taken from ECO-UNESCO’s corresponding Peer Education handbook launched on the day of the conference, also titled Youth for the Future.

Key Outcomes This workshop was attended by both adults and young people that were interested to learn more about Peer Education. There were also some experienced Peer Educators from ECO-UNESCO and Mayfield Arts that took part in the workshop and shared their experiences. Participants learned: • What Peer Education is • How Peer Education can be used to learn about sustainability issues • How Peer Education can improve a young persons’ personal development • Different methods that can be used in Peer Education such as art, discussion, moving debates, role-play and practical activities. The group came up with some great explanations of what Peer Education means to them: • ‘Peer education makes me think of equal learning where no person is right or wrong’ • ‘Learning in a fun way with your friends’ • Words used were: Empowerment, Ownership, Creating change, Domino effect • ‘Learning from the knowledge and skills of people your own age’ • ‘Peer education is sharing ideas or experiences and learning from that’

6.2. workshop two: building esd into your work with young people This workshop explored creative ways to incorporate ESD into what participants are already doing in their work or free time. Part of the workshop was to design and make a short activity that you can take away. ECO-UNESCO Education and Training Officer Brian Costelloe co-facilitated this workshop with ECO-UNESCO Peer Educators Ailbhe Kelly, Sadhbh Hegarty and Alannah Stritch.

Summary The workshop included: • ‘Environmental name game’ A fun activity to get to know each other • Exploration of how ESD can be incorporated into formal, non-formal and environmental education • Role-play scenarios as examples of challenges and opportunities in using ESD when working with Young People • The development and facilitation of ESD activities using an ESD checklist provided in the Youths for the Future Peer Education Handbook

Key Outcomes This workshop was attended by both adults and young people that were interested to learn more about ESD. There were also some experienced Peer Educators from ECO-UNESCO and Mayfield Arts that took part in the workshop and shared their experiences of using ESD and DE. By dividing up in to smaller groups, the participants came up with some great ways to incorporate ESD into working with Young People: •

ESD is diverse and can be incorporated in to many different fields One group developed the idea of an ESD GAA day in which the equipment and uniform would be made from recycled material and points scored would earn trees planted or extra funding for youth centres in your county ESD is about thinking global and acting local The second group created an activity which demonstrates the impact we, as individuals, have on the environment and how our actions contribute to global issues – this empowering activity demonstrated how our local actions can make a real change on a larger scale Using ESD involves using a lot of different ‘ingredients’ The third group asked their participants to consider ESD as a ‘cake’ with lots of different ‘ingredients’. A successful ESD activity should contain the core principles of ESD (the base), it should be interactive (the icing) and can offer something new and different (the cherry).

All of the participants in the workshop found that there were a variety of ways that ESD could be incorporated into activities involving young people. 6.3. workshop three: linking global to local in dublin city centre: using esd in outdoor education. This workshop took participants outside to explore creative ways to use ESD in outdoor education in an urban environment. ECO-UNESCO Environmental Youth Officer Colin O’Byrne co-facilitated this workshop with ECO-UNESCO Peer Educators Luke Foley, Lauren Redmond, Niamh Durkin and Jack Wilton

Summary The participants took part in an urban trail, know at ECO-UNESCO as an ‘Urban Safari’. The key objectives of the Urban Safari were for the participants to: • • • •

Know how to use outdoor education in an urban environment using ESD Know how to run an Urban Safari for young people Understand how to make global connections in our local environment Know how to explore biodiversity and human diversity in your lcoal area

Key Outcomes This workshop was attended by both adults and young people that were interested to learn more about using ESD in outdoor education. The workshop was enhanced by the presence of some ECO-UNESCO Peer Educators who were able to tell the group how similar exercises worked for them. The group was divided into teams to complete the Urban Safari. • • • •

Through their participation in the Urban Safari, participants were shown how to avail of the natural and built heritage in their communities and what areas/resources exist to best inform such trails. The activity explored how your local environment can be used as a learning resource using ESD. The Urban Safari also served as a useful tool with regard to the creation of participants’ own trails and the different settings ‘outdoors’ that can be used (e.g. parks, streets, markets and shops). Participants were shown the various different aspects which could be included in trails and how to involve young people in the creation of such trails. The debriefing after the Trail focused on participants’ experiences and what young people could gain from such an exercise. How facilitators can use such exercises to explore issues relating to values and ethics was also discussed.

7. resource launch launch of youth for the future peer education handbook ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for the Future Peer Education Handbook was launched by Johnny Sheenan, Development Education Programme Coordinator at the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) on behalf of Mary Cunningham, Director NYCI, following the conference. Johnny recommended the handbook as a great source of information and activities on the subjects of Peer Education and Sustainable Development. The resource is on sale from ECO-UNESCO and is suitable to be used by youth workers, teachers and other adult support workers along with young people. The resource has a step-by-step outline of how to develop and run a peer education programme looking at sustainable development. It also has many helpful tips for peer educators and over 40 fun activities for young people.

8. conclusions and recommendations ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for the Future conference was an active and inspiring day for all involved. Young people and adults discussed issues that are important for people now and in the future. ECO-UNESCO would like to thank all of the participants for such wonderful participation, insight and enthusiasm. From the suggestions and recommendations made on the day, there are several ways in which ECOUNESCO would like to support young people and their adult support workers in working towards a more sustainable future. training for teachers and youth workers ECO-UNESCO delivers a range of training for teachers and youth workers that cover sustainability themes for a variety of ages. These trainings address issues such as how to engage young people and children in sustainability issues and how to make them real and relevant to their lives. These one-day training courses include: •

Introduction to Environmental Education: Trends and Developments

• • • • •

Peer Education and Sustainability ECO Watchers: Energy, Waste &Climate Change Education for Teachers and Leaders Leadership and Strategic Sustainable Development ECO-Community Garden Training Drug Prevention Training Trainers: Introducing Environmental Education as a resource

support and reward young people in taking action

ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards

ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards takes place every year and celebrates the great work done young people and their support workers all over Ireland. By taking part in the Young Environmentalist Awards, young people can feel empowered by taking action in their communities and seeing the change that they can make. ECO-UNESCO rewards and recognises the environmental actions taken by young people each year and helps teachers and youth workers to support these young people in their actions. For more information about the Young Environmentalist Awards see

ECO-UNESCO’s Clubs Programme

ECO-UNESCO Clubs are for young people aged 10-18 to help the environment and get involved in their community while having a lot of fun! When groups become and ECO-UNESCO Club they will get an ECOUNESCO Clubs Handbook as well as advice from ECO-UNESCO staff and the opportunity to connect with other young people from all across the country. ECO-UNESCO Clubs can be a newly formed group or you can affiliate your pre-existing club (like a Youth Club, Scout Group, GAA Club or Green Schools Group) to ECO-UNESCO Clubs. By carrying out an environmental project with your group and entering it into ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards, you are in for a chance to win a special Toyota Clubs Development Fund prize which will help your club to grow. create more space for discussion of sustainability issues and networking of people interested in these issues Through ECO-UNESCO’s conference, youth forums, seminars and trainings, there are opportunities for people who care about sustainability issues to meet eachother and discuss such important issues. These events are not only for discussion but can help groups and individuals find ways to connect with eachother and move from awareness of such issues to taking real action. By building a strong community of people, both locally and globally, that are willing and ready to work towards a more sustainable future, there is an opportunity for real change and real learning. ECO-UNESCO will hold a seminar on 30th March 2011 to follow on from the recommendations and suggestions made at the Youth for the Future Conference. This seminar will also focus on moving from awareness to action, as this was a theme that came up several times during the round table discussion. If you are interested in attending this seminar, please contact or call 01 662 5491.

9. closing remarks ECO-UNESCO would again like to thank all those who participated in the Youth for the Future conference and made it an inspiring, educational and enjoyable day for all. There were many important issues addressed on the day and also many great suggestions and recommendations that came out of the discussions and workshops on the day. ECO-UNESCO would like to hear from anyone who is interested in getting involved with our events and activities in the future, or would like to input into the discussions that have been held, and will be continued in our future seminars and trainings. For further information please do not hesitate to contact ECO-UNESCO on 01 662 5491 or info@ecounesco. ie. Please visit our website for information about our upcoming events and activities.

ECO-UNESCO, The Greenhouse 17 St Andrew Street, Dublin 2 Tel: +353 (0) 1 662 5491 Fax: +353 (01) 1 6625493 Email: Web:

ECO-UNESCO Youth for the Future Conference Report  

On 22nd September 2010, ECO-UNESCO held an intergenerational conference titled Youth for the Future: learning to change our world. The confe...

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