Northern Ireland’s Eco-Schools Continue Record Breaking Streak in Prestigious International Environmental Education Programme
Christine Cahoon Tue 30 Jun 2015 updated: Thu 22 Oct 2015
Eco-Schools is a global, student-led phenomenon, the world's leading environmental education programme and one of the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) programmes. It makes environmental awareness and practical action an intrinsic part of school life.
Eco-Schools is operated here by environmental charity, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, which is dedicated to making Northern Ireland a cleaner and more pleasant place. The programme has gone from strength-to-strength over the last few years with support from the Department of the Environment and sponsorship from SSE Airtricity.
Environment Minister, Mark H. Durkan, whose department supports the Programme said:
“This is a tremendous achievement for schools. Our young people have a proud history spanning over twenty years with a local school being the first in the world to be awarded an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. The fact that every school is actively working towards getting the international Green Flag Award is testament to how important the environment is to young people.
“Getting young people involved is critical if we are to sustain our environment. During my many visits to schools I have seen at first-hand how young people of all ages are making a real difference, altering attitudes, behaviours, making real savings and contributing to a better environment.”
This year Northern Ireland became the first country out of the 59 countries in the international programme to reach 100% participation with all schools here registering to take part. This landmark achievement is testimony to the enthusiasm and determination of Northern Ireland’s pupils to make a difference and change their environment for the better.
This 20th anniversary year of the programme has also seen a record breaking number of schools in Northern Ireland achieving the pinnacle of the programme, the prestigious and internationally recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. 128 schools received the award in recognition of the excellent progress they have been making in protecting the environment and moving towards a more sustainable future.
Carmel Fyfe, Eco-Schools Manager, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “It is hugely encouraging to see the many benefits of the Eco-Schools programme, such as better pupil engagement, cost savings and environmental improvement, being shared by every school in Northern Ireland. Congratulations to all our Eco-Schools on their fantastic achievements this year and we look forward to seeing more and more of our schools achieving the prestigious Green Flag award.”
Paul Cooley, Head of SSE Airtricity's Renewables Business, the Principal Sponsors of the Eco-Schools Programme added: “We’re extremely proud to be associated with Eco-Schools and I’d personally like to congratulate all 1178 schools involved in the programme and in particular the 128 schools who have achieved Green Flag status this year.”
List of schools achieving the Green Flag Award in 2014-15.