ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards 2018 launched

Published by James Orr on

September 18th, 2017

ECO-UNESCO today launched the Young Environmentalists Awards 2018 calling on Ireland’s greenest teens to step up and take action in their communities over the next year.

Now in its 19th year, this award scheme sees teenagers working together on projects to provide solutions to local and global environmental challenges. A total of 43,000 young people aged between 10 and 18 have participated in the Awards since it began in 1999.

Over 700 teenagers were honoured at last year’s awards ceremony, which celebrated a diverse range of projects including the creation of vibrant bio-diverse habitats for bees; the design of a new, sustainable school and the development of micro-bead free, organic beauty products.

Launching the 2018 Awards, Environmental Minister, Denis Naughten TD, praised the Awards for : highlighting a range of environmental issues that present “huge challenges” for Ireland, such as climate change, energy, and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The inspiring Young Environmentalist Awards projects I have seen are of immense benefit to their communities and the wider society,” the Minister added.

“I would like to encourage schools and youth organisations around the country to get involved in the awards and look forward to seeing the ideas, commitment and innovation of Ireland’s youth.”

One of last year’s winners, Shane Farrelly from Bailieborough Community School in Co Cavan, spoke very positively about his experience.

“It’s a great way of promoting environmental issues having fun with your friends, and learning new skills like project managing and team working skills” he said.

Elaine Nevin, the National Director of ECO-UNESCO said that she was excited that the awards programme “keeps growing and growing year after year” in terms of both numbers and the “level of innovation and passion young people show”.

“Last year’s Awards saw passionate young people from across Ireland tackling important environmental issues through projects ranging from creating B&B for birds and bugs to raising awareness of energy conservation. We are looking forward to more outstanding projects this year,”

Registration is open until 24 November on ECO-UNESCO’s website – – where young people can submit a project idea of their choice in one of 10 different environmental categories.

Training programmes for applicants will be organised throughout October in schools and communities across the country, with the deadline for submissions on 6 February 2018,

The Young Environmentalist Awards 2018 will conclude with a final showcase and awards ceremony next May.

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James Orr

James is The Green New's Biodiversity Reporter and a wildlife and landscape photographer based in Dublin. James has a BA in Zoology from TCD.