05 May 2021

Young Environmentalists across Ireland will be taking part in the annual Young Environmentalists Awards on May 26th. Hosted by ECO-UNESCO, the Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) is an all-Ireland awards programme that recognises and rewards young people aged 10-18 for their efforts to protect the environment and raise awareness. Since 1999, ECO-UNESCO has worked with over 50,000 young people through the YEA programme.


ECO-UNESCO recently conducted a survey across Ireland in which 77% of young people said they were concerned about climate change with 58% saying they would like more local opportunities to get involved in climate action. Now more than ever young people are passionate about making a positive environmental difference to protect their future. 


The Semi-Finals known as the ECO-DENS took place all last week featuring 66 projects across Ireland that made it through. These young environmentalists had the opportunity to present and showcase their projects to a select panel of judges for the opportunity to win awards across ten categories for their environmental efforts and solutions. Some of the Judges include members of Dublin, Cork and Roscommon County Council, An-Post, The Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. The finalists will be announced in the coming weeks. 


From fast fashion, eco-community and biodiversity among the range of projects, young people across Ireland have been working hard over the last year both at home, in youth clubs and in schools to make an impact with their environmental projects. ECO-UNESCO has also seen a return of projects from last year that have been further developed. 


National Director of ECO-UNESCO, Elaine Nevin said “We are delighted to host the 22nd annual Young Environmentalist Awards virtually again this year. We have a full ECO Week of Events for those involved including workshops, webinars with leading environmental experts, our Showcase and Final Ceremony. We are so excited to celebrate the innovation and enthusiasm young people in Ireland have towards the environment and reward them for their positive efforts. Every project is a solution to a more sustainable future.”


Some of last year’s winners include activists from Crumlin YouthReach who won the Eco-Health and Well-Being Category for creating sustainable wellness products and self-care bags, known as ME-Bags to boost mental health in their community. 


Member of ME-Bags, Katherine Orobcenko said “We were delighted to have taken part in last year’s awards. It’s so important that young people improve their community while also tackling environmental issues to help create a better future. We wish everyone the best of luck this year.”


ECO Week will be taking place from May 24th to 28th with the YEA awards ceremony taking place virtually on May 26th. For more information on the YEAs and ECO-Week, please go to www.YEA.ie