It’s been a busy end of the year in Green-Schools, with heightening activity happening around climate action, sustainable development and environmental awareness. With support from Irish Aid, the much anticipated Global Goals Conference took place on November 12th, at Radisson Blu Little Island, Cork. Much like last years launch, the conference was great success for the 11 schools who gathered to focus on the Global Goals for sustainable development.

In 2015, UN leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a better world by 2030. These goals have the power to end poverty, fight inequality and reduce the effects of climate change. Guided by these goals, the Green-Schools Global Citizenship themes enables young people to take action and create real measurable change in Ireland.

During a series of activities and talks throughout the conference Green-Schools students had the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the Sustainable Development Goals. Important global issues were highlighted throughout the event and students gained a deeper insight into concerns such as;

  • Gender Equality (Goal 5)
  • Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6)
  • Climate Action (Goal 13)
  • Life on land (Goal 15) 
  • Responsible Production and Consumption (Goal 12)

Primary school students from Scoil Chlochair Mhuire, Cork gave a spectacular performance around Clean Water and Sanitation and Christ King Girls’ Secondary School students delivered a dynamic presentation on Fast Fashion, in line with Goal 12 Responsible Production and Consumption.

Later on in the afternoon hands got grubby, with a Little Woodlands planting exercise from LEAFIreland to celebrate Goal 15, Life on Land.

To close the events of the day, keynote speaker Gary Tyrell, linked the many themes discussed throughout the day during his talk about his recent visit to Kenyan Eco-schools. Since his visit, 11 Kenyan Eco-schools have twinned with 11 Irish Climate Ambassador schools, where much exciting connections are taking place.

Schools which have already been awarded all five of the core green flags (Litter and Waste, Energy, Water, Travel and Biodiversity) move on to maintain these green flag themes but with an emphasis on global citizenship. Across Ireland there are almost 4,000 schools registered on the Green-Schools programme and with over 90,000 young people actively contributing towards Ireland achieving the SDGs for a more sustainable future.