Green-Schools were delighted to showcase the Global Citizenship Marine Environment theme at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit, an international conference that kicked off the SeaFest festivities in Galway last week. Green-Schools took a stand alongside a wide range of exhibitors showcasing everything marine and maritime themed – from companies developing cutting-edge technologies for renewable energy, to European projects finding ways to up-cycle fishing rope into new products, and researchers investigating new methods to monitor Ireland’s marine wildlife; it was fascinating to see just how big a role the ocean plays in everyone’s lives! Many dialogues and ideas were exchanged at the stand which was shared between both An Taisces Green-Schools and Clean Coasts programmes. Among the many visitors to the stand was Minister Damien English, who’s Housing, Planning and Local government Department supports both the programmes.

Many inspiring speakers shared their wealth of knowledge during seminars throughout the festival programme. Orla Doherty, producer on BBC’s Blue Planet II delivered a talk about the wonders of our oceans and how much we have yet to explore, highlighting how important it is that we protect and conserve our marine environment for future generations. Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, addressed the dangers of feeling powerless in the face of global environmental challenges, such as climate change, by declaring that we must all be “prisoners of hope” – that the only way to succeed is to be determined that there must be something good we can do to improve the situation and to not give up! This inspiring sentiment reminds us just how effective the work carried out by Green-Schools is for the environment in Ireland. Green-Schools committees are leading the way by making changes in their communities for a greener planet and a healthier ocean!

Photo 3 courtesy of Mark Devlin. @M_Devlin_Marine