07 February 2019

ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards is celebrating 20 years of empowering young people and protecting our environment. At a time when young people across the world are making their voices heard on the need for climate action, thousands of young people from schools and youth groups across Ireland are coming up with environmental action projects in the hopes of making it to the Young Environmentalist Awards Final Showcase and Awards Ceremony in the Convention Centre, Dublin on 23rd May.


ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) is the finale of an island-wide programme for 10-18-year olds that recognises and rewards young people who take action to improve and protect the environment. Approximately 4,000 young people take part in the programme each year, and over 45,000 have taken part since it began in 1999.


National Director of ECO-UNESCO, Elaine Nevin believes that these awards are inspiring young people to display their passion and innovation and becoming changemakers for our country’s environment, “If you haven’t registered a project yet, do it now before it’s too late. The Awards ceremony is a dynamic, lively, exciting occasion with over 80 finalist projects displayed and hundreds of young people, teachers, youth leaders and members of the public attending each year. We have had the privilege of hosting some high-profile presenters and VIPs including President Michael D. Higgins, Mary Robinson in the past, as well as UNESCO Dignitaries and media personalities.” 


Nevin continued, “This year is a very special year for us being our 20th Anniversary. It is wonderful to experience so many young people coming together with their thoughts and ideas about how to change the world, because no matter how big or small we can all make a difference. Young people who take part in the Young Environmentalist Awards are the changemakers for our country’s environment.”


Alicia Premkumar (overall super junior winner 2013 AND overall climate change & junior winner 2016), became one of the youngest ever winners of the Young Environmentalist Awards, at only 10 years old. Alicia encourages young people all over the country to participate “because it is the best thing that (she) could have ever done. Even if you don’t win, the people you meet and the experience you have, will stay with you forever. I learned so many new things, including research skills, communication skills and confidence skills”.