Ireland’s leading environmental education and youth organisation, ECO-UNESCO hosted an Earth Gala to bridge the gap between young people and key politicians to discuss their climate concerns. The Earth Gala, part of the Youth Climate Justice challenge project, a consortium led by ECO-UNESCO which includes 5 national youth organisations including Gaisce, Irish Girl Guides, No Name Club and Young Irish Filmmakers and funded by the DCEDIY, will celebrate the work of young climate activists across Ireland and empower them to continue making a difference.
Earth Gala is a week-long virtual event to mark the end of the Youth Climate Justice Challenge Programme which facilitated a space for like-minded young environmentalists across Ireland to learn more about climate action, work on projects and develop their skills.
Earth Gala showcased the Youth Climate Justice Challenge Participant’s projects and heard from climate experts and politicians including Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman and Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett who will be discussing topics around climate politics, remediation, transforming social media, and resilience.
Minister, Roderic O’Gorman commented ‘The activities that have been advanced by the Climate Justice Challenge participant’s exemplify young people’s commitment to the environment, to their local communities and to a sustainable and equitable future for us all. I am delighted that my Department can provide support for these important actions so that we can ensure that everyone plays a part in addressing the challenges of our Climate Crisis in a fair and just way.’
Elaine Nevin, National Director of ECO-UNESCO said “Young people of today have gone above and beyond over the last couple of months in their efforts to tackle climate change and to do so in a way that is just and equitable. We are incredibly honoured to showcase their projects at our Earth Gala this year and give them a platform to discuss the issues that they care about most.”
“This year in particular, through COP26, we have seen just how passionate young people are about their planet and how determined they are to have their voices heard. Earth Gala will bridge the gap between young people and key decision-makers to discuss their concerns.”
Young Climate Activists showcasing their project at Earth Gala includes Julie Murphy from Clare, and Larusa Fox and Aoife Cassidy from Dublin who created the project Let’s Talk About Palm Oil which raises awareness of the palm oil industry’s implications on nature.
Julie said “We have been working to tackle the unjust palm oil industry through educating others, boycotting businesses, and raising awareness of palm oil exploitation and the implications it has to our eco-systems. We loved having the opportunity to take part in the Youth Climate Justice Programme where we got the chance to develop our skills while making new friends.”
For more information on Earth Gala or to get involved in ECO-UNESCO’s programmes, please go to ECOUNESCO.ie