22/05/2013 – 59 Schools from Wicklow and Kildare awarded Green School Status on International Day for Biodiversity

Wednesday 22nd May, 2013—Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht presented Green Flags to schools from Kildare and Wicklow participating in the Green Schools Programme in the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin.

The event takes place during Ireland’s 7th National Biodiversity Week (18–26 May 2013) which is part of Ireland’s contribution to a global celebration marking International Day for Biological Diversity which takes place on 22 May every year to increase awareness of the importance of biodiversity.

“Today, you are sharing this very special Green Schools Award Day with another significant international date – today (22nd May) is also the United Nations International Day for Biodiversity, which carries a theme this year of Water and Biodiversity. All of the work that each and every one of you are undertaking as part of your green schools programme is being celebrated throughout the world today as it makes a huge contribution to protecting our biodiversity and in assisting to conserve our natural heritage,” said the Minister.

Green-Schools, known internationally as Eco-Schools, is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment.

The aim of Green-Schools is to increase students’ and participant awareness of environmental issues through classroom studies and to transfer this knowledge into positive environmental action in the school and also in the wider community. Schools that have successfully completed all the elements of the programme are awarded the ‘Green-Flag’. This award has now become a well-recognised Eco-Label. The award has to be renewed every two years.

The Minister outlined his appreciation to all those involved in the Green Schools Programme, and in particular to the students, teachers and Green Schools committees.

The Minister stated that, “Projects such as those undertaken by the schools here today provide a great opportunity to build awareness of environmental issues. The importance of our biodiversity, to each and every one of use, cannot be underestimated and international Biodiversity Day provides an opportunity to encourage people to change their behaviour towards the environment and to appreciate the unique natural environment we have and the need to preserve the species and habitats that are threatened ”

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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