The overall winner of the ECO-UNESCO BIO-Diversity Award, was a bee project on the Native Irish Honey Bee, which focused on grooming traits to combat varroa, (reported on in the last issue of the Four Seasons magazine,). An important part of this competition is to raise awareness of the problem being looked at. Brother and sister team from Co. Waterford, Oisin and Dominique O’Connell circulated articles on the Native Irish Honey Bee to the local press and produced a Powerpoint Presentation on CD which was given to local schools to promote awareness and bee friendly living amongst school children.
Dominique O’Connell and Micheál Mac Giolla Coda take mites from hive debris using a paint brush.
ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards is an all-Ireland environmental awards programme that recognises and rewards young people who raise environmental awareness and improve the environment.
At the 2013,Awards, awareness of the plight of bees was evident, with several projects aiming to aid the bee populations in Ireland. One project designed and built special habitats for solitary bees, with other projects focusing on honey bees, inviting bee-keepers into their schools to talk about honey bees.
ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).
ECO-UNESCO’s aims are:
• to raise environmental awareness, understanding and knowledge of the environment among young people
• to promote the protection and conservation of the environment
• to promote the personal development of young people through practical environmental projects and activities.
• to promote the ideals of UNESCO
ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards gets young people involved in taking environmental action. Thousands of young environmentalists in schools, youth groups and Youthreach centres throughout the Island of Ireland are making positive contributions to their environment and community by carrying out environmental action projects. ECO-UNESCO celebrates their green achievements through our awards programme.
As an adult who attended the Mansion House on Wednesday, 22nd May last, with President Michael D. Higgins in attendance, it was truly heartening to see the awareness, interest and empathy so evident amongst the young people present. Directors and the Chairman of the ECO-UNESCO Ireland, were most interested in the native Irish honey bee and the recently formed NIHBS, and it is hoped that we can work with UNESCO, IRELAND, to further the aims and objectives of NIHBS into the future.