ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2015 launches in Dublin!  

Ireland’s biggest celebration of youth eco-action, the Young Environmentalist Awards, was launched on September 3rd in European Union House on Dawson Street by Mr. Alan Kelly TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. The launch was attended by over 30 young people including the 2014 Overall YEA winners ‘Yes We Can’ from Kiltimagh Co. Mayo along with the Super Junior Winners from St. Ibar’s in Wexford.

ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) is an all- Ireland environmental awards programme for young people between the ages of 10 to 18.

Since 1999, ECO-UNESCO has encouraged young people from youth groups, schools and clubs to carry out local environmental action projects, making a difference to the lives of all both locally and globally.

With registration for this year’s Young Environmentalist Awards now open, it’s the perfect time to come together as a group to carry out an Environmental Action Project that interests you and also helps to raise environmental awareness within your community and beyond!!!!

Once registered, a number of groups will have the opportunity to pitch their ECO-Action projects to the ‘ECO- Dragon’s in the regional semi-final judging rounds.

The finalist will then have the opportunity to exhibit their projects at the Awards Gala Showcase and Awards ceremony in Dublin.

The Young Environmentalist Awards is an opportunity to empower young people to come together in groups to make a real difference in their community through environmental action projects of their choosing.

Has your group registered yet?

Groups of young people aged 10 to 18 have until November 28th to register for the prestigious awards at:



September 12, 2014 at 10:28 AM Leave a comment

The Young Environmentalist Award Winners 2014

Green teens from St. Louis Community School Kiltimagh were crowned the Overall Senior Winners at ECO-UNESCO’s 15th annual Young Environmentalist Showcase and Awards Ceremony held in the Round Room of the Mansion House on the 20th of May 2014. In attendance were over 600 young people, Mr. Han Qunli, Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences and the Secretary of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, Minster for Children and Youth Affairs Charlie Flanagan, Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn and the youthful master of ceremonies, Stephen Byrne.

The winning project ‘Yes We Can’ scooped a total of three prizes at the event including the Senior Waste Award and Alupro Ireland’s ECO-Alu Award. Their winning eco-action project focused on reducing the amount of aluminium going into landfills. The production of aluminium cans is hugely damaging to the environment and through their project they helped save energy, protect natural resources and habitats, lowered CO2 emissions and reduced global warming and climate change. On the ground, the Kiiltimagh group set up a recycling centre for aluminium cans in their school and publicised it in the local community. They set themselves a target for the school year to recycle 1000kg of cans. Three months into their campaign in 2013, they had already collected over 500kg of aluminium cans for recycling and with only a week or so to go, are well on track towards achieving their target of 1000kg for the school year. The group also established a website providing all the information required to assist other schools and communities to set up recycling centres and reduce the amount of waste aluminium.

The 2014 Overall Junior Award went to St. Colm’s High School from Draperstown in Derry. They won both the Overall Junior, and Junior Biodiversity category with their project, ‘Susan’s Trail’. High on this group’s agenda was the conservation of native species and the promotion of endangered species such as the Irish Whitebeam, swifts and tree sparrows. St. Colm’s worked alongside a number of local groups in the Draperstown area to establish a biodiversity trail and researched and collated information for signage on the various habitats and species found along the trail itself, helping to promote the protection of both native and endangered species.

These winners were just two of the 75 lucky groups who were selected for the finals from almost 4,000 young people throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland at regional ‘‘Dragons’ Den’’ style ECO-Dens in March.

Preceding the official awards ceremony, the public were invited to a colourful exhibition where the Young Environmentalists showcased their ECO-Action project. The ECO-UNESCO team also provided exciting green-themed activities including creative recycling workshops, a water and sustainability zone, a biodiversity zone and a talent zone where visitors were entertained by quality youth performances from the finalists.

It was a truly inspiring event. The level of dedication, innovation and environmental awareness demonstrated by everyone throughout this year’s Young Environmentalist Awards was phenomenal. ECO-UNESCO would like to congratulate not only our very deserving winners, but everybody who took part in the initiative and who through their environmental action projects made their homes, schools and communities a greener place to live, work and study. The actions of these young people can be replicated anywhere in the world to help protect and conserve our environment and we hope that UNESCO clubs worldwide will strive to do their bit for the environment and follow in the footsteps of their Irish counterparts.

Don’t forget to check out our photos on Flicker


St Louis Community School Senior Mayo
St Colm’s High School Junior Derry
St Colm’s High School Junior Biodiversity Derry
Virginia College Junior ECO Community Development Cavan
St Mary’s C.B.S. (Portlaoise) Junior Energy Laois
Belfast Model School For Girls Junior Waste Antrim
Teach na nDaoine Family Resource Centre Junior Waste/ECO Art & Design Monaghan
St Killian’s German School Junior Water Dublin 14
Borris Vocational School Senior Biodiversity Carlow
South Eastern Regional College Senior Biodiversity Down
St Louis Secondary School (Louth) Senior Climate Change Louth
St Josephs Secondary School Senior ECO Art & Design Westmeath
St. Aidan’s CS Senior ECO Community Development Dublin 24
Youthreach Clara Senior ECO Health and Wellbeing Offaly
Youthreach Carlow Senior ECO Health and Wellbeing Carlow
Tullamore College Senior ECO-Enterprise Offaly
Tullamore College Senior Energy Offaly
Blakestown Community School Senior Transport Dublin
St Louis Community School Senior Waste Mayo
Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk Senior Water Kerry
St. Ibars Super Junior Wexford
Scoil na nÓg Super Junior Cork
Youth for Sustainable Development; Global Youth Leaders for Change From Local to Global Dublin
St Louis Community School ECO-Alu Award Mayo
St Louis Secondary School ECO-Leader Award Louth
Carndonagh Community School Peoples Choice Donegal

June 27, 2014 at 10:26 AM Leave a comment

The Regional ECO-Dens

Congratulations to all the groups from all over Ireland that faced the judges in ECO-UNESCO’s regional ECO-Dens in March. The first ECO-Dens were held in Armagh in Ulster and Cork in Munster. We held the final Dens last week with one in Galway in Connaught and two in our headquarters here in the Greenhouse in Dublin in Leinster. The judges were really impressed with all the action projects that have been undertaken to raise environmental awareness and make a positive contribution to the local community. There was a huge variety of projects pitched over the five days and the quality of the projects presented to us at the ECO-Den was extremely high. So well done to you all!!

ECO-Den finalists had to convince a panel of expert judges that their group deserves a spot at the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2014 Gala Showcase and Awards Ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House on Tuesday 20th May. There, participants will get a chance to showcase their work, meet TV celebrities and win fantastic prizes.

In the next stage of the process, an external judge will review all of the project reports in detail over the next two weeks. We will then compile all of the results and hope to let groups know if they are going through to the Showcase and Awards Ceremony by mid-April.

Don’t forget to check our Facebook page where we have been uploading photos from the events –

Thanks to all our judges for your expert contribution to our event

The Ulster Judges

Nial O’Connor – Monaghan County Council
Joan Shine – SEELB
Liz Wallace – WELB Curriculum & Advisory Support Services
Feidhlim Ó Seasnáin – ECO-UNESCO

The Munster Judges

Kevin Ryan – Cork City Council
Michael O’Coilean – Kerry County Council
Sinead McDonnell – Limerick City Council
Elaine Nevin – ECO-UNESCO

The Connaught Judges

Sharon Cameron -Mayo County Council
Joan Tarney – Clare County Council
Louise Ryan – Galway VEC
Elaine Nevin – ECO-UNESCO

The Leinster Judges

Dean Eaton – Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
Gary Brady – Longford County Council
Karen Mahon – Alupro Ireland
Aisling Crowley – Dun Laoghaire VEC
Dara Wyer – Kildare County Council
Mary Cunningham – NYCI
Stella McKervey – Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
Linda Deegan – EPA
Brian Healy – CDYSB
Feidhlim Ó Seasnáin – ECO-UNESCO
Elaine Nevin – ECO-UNESCO


And a big thanks all our ECO-Den sponsors:
Clare County Council
Cookstown District Council
Cork City Council
Cork County Council
Craigavon Borough Council
Donegal County Council
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
Fingal County Council
Galway City Council
Kildare County Council
Limerick City Council
Longford County Council
Mayo County Council
Monaghan County Council
Waterford County Council


Also a big thanks to our Gold, Silver and Brozne sponsors

Gold sponsors: The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Silver Funders: The Environmental Protection Agency

Bronze Sponsors: Alupro Ireland
Dublin City Council

Best of luck to all the groups!!!

Here are some pictures from this year’s ECO-Dens!

,St. Kilians

St. Killian’s German School


South East Regional College after the Ulster ECO-Den

Mullavilly Students Mia Crowe,Amber Bothwell,Kate Segon,Maisy Corry,Jessica Greenlee,Jill Vogan,Holly Topley,Rebekah Shortt,Rebe

Mullavilly Primary School at the Ulster ECO-Den


Carndonagh Community School doing a planting workshop with Glenn at the Ulster ECO-Den


St. Josephs College, Roscommon at the Leinster ECO-Den


1, Abbey CS TY Students pictured at Munster ECO-DEN with their project ‘The Great Wall of Green.’

Abbey Community School at the Munster ECO-Den

Creative recycling

Tetrapack Wallets and Creative Recycling in Cork at the Munster ECO-Den


Our Leinster ECO-Den Judges

Green Teens

Our very own ECO-UNESCO Green Teens at the Leinster ECO-Den


St. Louis Community School, Kiltimagh at the Connaught ECO-Den

Moyderwell PS

Moyderwell Primary School prepping for their pitch to the judges at the Munster ECO-Den

April 8, 2014 at 1:22 PM Leave a comment

Young Environmentalists on the Road

We have been busy here at ECO-UNESCO delivering YEA workshops to schools in Northern Ireland under the Challenge Ireland  Fund. This  training delivered under the Challenge Ireland fund empowers young people to develop their knowledge, awareness and skills and supports the development and implementation of local environmental action projects.We have visited 6 schools so far and have seen some amazing local action projects in the making. It is so inspiring hearing all the great ideas and seeing people taking action and really making a difference. The groups are working on projects ranging from biodiversity to waste and are busy raising awareness and educating people in their school and community about environmental issues. 

Best of luck to all the groups!

Glenola Collegiate

Glenola Collegiate

Belfast Model School for Girls

Belfast Model School

Mullavilly Primary School

Mullavilly Primary School

Grosvenor Grammar School, Belfast

Grosvenor Grammar School

Ballyclare High School


South Eastern Regional College

South Eastern Regional College

February 14, 2014 at 3:34 PM Leave a comment

5 weeks left for your Young Environmentalist Awards project!

Hello Young Environmentalists!

I hope all is going well with your Environmental Action project. I can’t wait to hear how much you have learnt and the fun you had carrying out your project.

Project Submission

The next big milestone is project submission. Projects can be submitted by post from Monday 10th February, 2014 until the deadline on Friday 28th of February, 2014. There will be no extension on this deadline due to the short lead in time to the ECO-Dens.

Project submissions require the following completed documents, in order to judge your project correctly:

  • Your registration number marked on all items
  • 2014_SubmissionForm 
  • Your project: Completed written Project Report (max 3000 words) along with evidence of work carried out during the project. This can be supplemented with a video diary, photo scrapbook, CD-ROM, Project diary, Song/music, poetry, drama, etc. 
  • Teacher/Leader Evaluation sheet (print from Pg 46 of manual available online)
  • Participant Evaluation sheet: completed by each group member (Pg 49 of manual) 
  • Group photo (hard and soft copy).

Please make sure your project description/summary (in the submission form and project template) really shows all the work you have done. We will use this in any future publicity material including the website and the People’s Choice Award so make sure you tell us how great your project is! Include information on how you came up with the project idea, how you developed your action plan, what you did, what your local action project achieved, how you raised awareness and any ways that you linked local to global issues.

As each project is unique, we do not put many restrictions on how groups should present their project, or exactly what to include when submitting. Some groups may have a song, or recycled decorations to show, some may have photos of an area they cleaned up in their community, or a powerpoint presentation of a poster competition they held in school to reduce energy wastage. However, the project template provides a good framework and hits all the points the judges will be looking for!

The Regional ECO-Dens

The Dens provide your group with the opportunity to pitch their project to a panel of judges and network with other young environmentalists in your region. From this regional judging phase, the final 60 shortlisted groups will be chosen to showcase their project at the Annual Showcase and Awards Ceremony on the 20th May 2014. The dates for this years ECO-Dens are as follows:

  • March 11th: Ulster: Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon
  • March 13th: Munster: Lifetime lab, Cork 
  • March 25th: Connaught: ClareGalway Hotel, Galway
  • March 27th & 28th: Leinster: The Greenhouse, Dublin

Well done on all of your Eco-actions. Best of luck!

January 27, 2014 at 4:59 PM Leave a comment

YEA Registration Deadline December 20th 2013


Due to demand we are extending the deadline for YEA registration. You now have until Friday December 20th 2013 to register your environmental action project.

Our next milestone is Project Submission! Projects must be submitted to us by Friday the 28th of February. In the interest of fairness we won’t be able to accept projects after this date, so please mark it in your diaries!

As always if you have any questions please email or ring our hotline 01 666 5491.

Best of luck!

December 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM Leave a comment

1 Week to Register…

Young Environmentalists,

We at ECO-UNESCO hope all is going well with your environmental action project. We can’t wait to hear about your ideas for environmental action!  Over the past few months we have been visiting schools and youth groups around the country with our YEA 2013 Roadshow, where we delivered the YEA 6 Steps to Success training.  You can see some photos from the workshops below. It was great to meet with so many of you and we are hugely excited about the creativity, energy and enthusiasm we found in each of the groups we visited-we can’t wait to find out how your project progress!

Don’t forget, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to register your project by the 29th of November. Registration is simple! Groups (between 2-25 members) can now  register their projects online.

Greenhills Navan St Louis Dundalk Eniscorthy

Action projects are anything from creating a school garden or recycling facility, enhancing local biodiversity levels, tackling waste or climate change and a whole lot more! You carry out the project, and we give you the chance to be rewarded and win some great prizes for doing so!

Most groups are thinking about what environmental issues affect their communities and what issues they are passionate about. If you need some inspiration, don’t forget to have a look at the shortlisted projects from last year.

Don’t forget

  • Research – try and find out about the environmental issue so you know why you are doing the project
  • Action – What practical actions are you going to take?
  • Communication – how will you tell people about the great project you are doing and educate the other students in your school and people in your local community and even further afield about the environmental issue?
  • Be creative – Do something different. People sometimes switch off if they feel they are being preached at. Is there a way that you can offer an alternative vision which is better…

Some ideas for communicating your idea include:

Making presentations to:

  • your school
  • other schools
  • other groups (TidyTowns, Residents groups etc)

Contacting local media such as:

  • Newspaper
  • Radio


  • Organise a launch event/party
  • Social media
  • Blog/website
  • Posters and leaflets
  • Displaying the project in a range of venues
  • Inviting guest speakers

The YEA is a great way to learn about the environment, take local action and have fun! Best of luck with your projects and don’t forget to register by November 29th!

November 22, 2013 at 1:06 PM Leave a comment

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