Founded in 1986, ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO, Clubs, Centres and Associations. ECO-UNESCO’s mission is to raise environmental awareness, understanding and knowledge of the environment in young people through practical environmental projects, education and training programmes and activities.
ECO-UNESCO has extensive experience in the area of Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development and runs a range of innovative youth, education and training programmes. ECO-UNESCO runs a programme of interactive workshops, an all Ireland environmental youth awards scheme called the Young Environmentalist Awards, a network of ECO-UNESCO clubs; a range of youth peer education programmes including Youth for Sustainable Development and ECO-Choices, develops and runs training courses and produces education resources. ECO-UNESCO also runs a programme to promote a whole institute approach to sustainability called the ECO Sustainability Award. In 2009, ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development’ project was selected by the UNECE as an example of a Good practice project in the UNECE region as part of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014.
ECO-UNESCO delivers a range of training courses including short trainings; further education courses and accredited courses to educators, teachers, youth leaders and the general public. ECO-UNESCO runs continuous professional development training courses to teachers including primary school ins-service teacher training. ECO-UNESCO is also a member of the Ubuntu network of third level pre-service teacher training colleges and courses. It has been active at third level education and has delivered training courses to third level lecturers and educators in University of Limerick, Dundalk Institute of Technology among others.
ECO-UNESCO has an extensive network in Ireland and works with primary and secondary level schools and teachers, youth sector, further education institutes, third level institutes, NGOs among others. It works proactively with the formal and non-formal education sectors; delivers programmes in conjunction with local authorities; is a member of the Irish Environmental Network and the National Youth Council of Ireland. It has over 10,000 participants involved in its programmes on an annual basis with a reach to many more thousands.
On an all-Ireland level ECO-UNESCO is a member of the Environmental Education Forum in Northern Ireland and internationally is a member of Youth and the Environment Europe; the World Federation ofUNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations; the WEEC Network and has links with SeeD UK. It has represented Ireland at a variety of international ESD conferences including: Learning to Change our World, Gothenburg, Sweden 2004 Building capacity and empowerment through ESD, Esbjerg, Denmark 2006 UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development- Moving into the Second Half of the UN Decade, Bonn Germany 2009.
As an advocate for greater integration of environmental education into policy, ECO-UNESCO was appointed by the Department of Education and Science in Ireland to carry out stakeholder consultation and develop a discussion paper for the development of a National Strategy in Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland in 2007. ECO-UNESCO carried out extensive research in the formal, non formal and informal educations sectors in Ireland as well as international research and completed the discussion paper providing recommendations on education for sustainable development in Ireland.
ECO-UNESCO has also produced a wide range of publications for use by educators, teachers and those interested in working with others on environmental issues. These include:
Youth for the Future; Creating a Sustainable World 2010;
Energy Watchers Resource Pack 2010;
ECO-Watchers Toolkit – training manual for teachers 2010;
Ellen & Eoin - The Great Rubbish Adventure 2008;
What’s so hot about Climate Change 2008;
ECO-Choices – Drugs Prevention Resource 2007;
What on Earth is Sustainable Development? 2006;
Trees in Our World 2004;
4 Seasons Activity Pack 2004
Embracing Diversity 2003;
Tree-mendous Trees Activity Pack 2002;
Our Environment;Our Responsibility 2002;
Enhancing the recreational value of coniferous woodlands 2002
Exhibitions: Life Camera Action 2010 - a photography and film exhibition on biodiversity by young people; InterACTION 2011 - an exhibition highlighting the work of young people on environmental protection and sustainable development from around the world
ECO-UNESCO has also written a chapter on a whole schools approaches to embed ESD in schools for a Peter Lang publication – to be published in 2012.
Role of ECO-UNESCO in the project:
- Coodinate the mapping exercise in Ireland and complete the template for data collection.
- Assist in the development of an online platform of resources as well as get familiarised and review the online tool.
- Contribute to the bi-annual newsletters.
- Provide feedback to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework.
- Contribute to the dissemination and exploitation of the project outputs, outcomes and future network activities.
- Participate and actively contribute to the discussions generated in regional and annual meetings, seminars and conference.
Operational and financial management:
- The project team will coordinate the above administrative and academic project activities.
- Financial administration will be handled by the project team.