Rían O’Reilly and Conan O’Sullivan, Overall Senior Category Winners of the 2022 Young Environmentalists Awards, from the Bee Brilliant, Boost Biodiversity! team from Patrician Academy as they celebrated their big win for their environmental action project. Photo: Gerard MaCarthy

The team to bee

Can we get a round of applause, please? Some young environmentalists from Cork have been named top winner’s at the 23rd Young Environmentalist Awards.

Over 2,000 young people have been involved in this year’s The Young Environmentalist Awards programme and the team behind Bee Brilliant, Boost Biodiversity! from Patrician Academy in Mallow have been named the Overall Senior Category Winners.

The project saw them host an awareness week on the importance of biodiversity and created a biodiversity friendly garden on their school grounds.

Meanwhile, a group from Millstreet Community School has also taken home the Local to Global special award for their project looking at how big Ireland’s PFAS (a chemical) problem is and what are the solutions. Other category winners were from Kinsale Community School, Davis College, Mallow and Bandon Grammar School. Hosted by ECO-UNESCO and RTE presenter Clara Murray, The Young Environmentalist Awards programme took place virtually and were officially opened by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Communications, Eamonn Ryan made an address.

The awards recognises and rewards young people aged 10-18 who have taken environmental action in their school or community, and created and come up with creative solutions to solve environmental issues.

Elaine Nevin, Director of ECO-UNESCO said: “Year on year the Young Environmentalist Awards Programme continues to showcase the very best of youth climate action, innovation and sustainability amongst our schools, youth reaches and youth groups.

“We are overwhelmed with the quality of the work, every project has undertaken this year and what a privilege to be able to showcase these projects.”

“In a recent survey by ECO-UNESCO, 60% of young people feel anxious about climate change so the Young Environmentalists Awards Programme is a great opportunity for young people to take the necessary steps to relieve these anxieties, involve their local communities and work towards building a better future,” she concluded.