Vital to pass on to next generation social responsibility and commitment to sustainable development – Minister

by Rachel Cunningham
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By Rachel Cunningham

Underscoring the necessity of initiatives such as Making Dublin Greener, Minister for Education, Norma Foley, said it was “essential we as educators impart to school children a sense of social responsibility and a commitment to sustainable development.”

“Through ESD, our next generations of global citizens will have the skills they need to enable them to get involved in sustainable development projects locally, nationally and even internationally.  I want to congratulate Dublin Gazette for this super initiative and wish it every success”. 

Representatives from the Department of Education added: “The Department of Education is committed to ensuring primary schools in Dublin and indeed the whole country adopt a sustainable and responsible approach to climate change. In order to achieve this, the Department has rolled out the national strategy on education for sustainable development (ESD) to schools.

“This green initiative aims to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles. This policy change also encourages other social enterprises encompassing the areas of human rights and gender equality, while promoting a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity.

“Over the last decade, ESD themes and principles have been integrated into the curriculum at all levels and into many other aspects of the education system from state examinations to teacher training. Moving forward towards 2030, we want to build on the fantastic work already underway in many schools. 

“One way of doing this is to provide more opportunities for learners to engage in project based activities on ESD related themes such as Climate Action and this initiative by Dublin Gazette to “Make Dublin Greener” is a great example.

“Education is key to achieving not only ESD itself but also the other targets set out by the UN under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including Climate Action, by 2030. Our young people are central to this and we must listen to them and support them as agents of change.”

Another sponsor for this year’s competition is the Dublin Climate Action Regional Office (CARO), which is one of four CAROs set up by the government to work directly with the local authority sector on Climate Action.

The Dublin CARO work with the four Dublin local authorities: Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dun Loaghaire Rathdown County Council and Codema to implement the Climate Change Action Plans, which were published in 2019.

FILE PHOTO – Greta Thurnberg

These plans cover the five key areas of transport, energy and buildings, nature-based solutions, resource management and flood prevention.

Commenting on its involvement with the Dublin Gazette’s Making Dublin Greener competition, David Dodd, CARO Regional Coordinator, stated: “Climate Action is a multigenerational issue but it is impacting us now and requires urgent action by all sectors and individuals. The younger generation have been vocal in the need for action with movements such as Fridays for future and School strikes.

“We’re happy to support this competition for schools in the Dublin area and look forward to seeing the suggestions coming in to make Dublin a more sustainable place to work, live and play in.”

Dublin Gazette Founder and CEO Mick McGovern said it was important that a local newspaper serving the needs of Dublin city and county should get involved with core issues of the day. “Climate action will only work if each and every one of us changes our lifestyles to sustainable habits. What better place to start this than at Dublin primary school level, and my hope is that parents will also become involved through their children’s projects, ” he pointed out.

For further information on the Making Dublin Greener competition, contact [email protected].

Click on link to read more in this weeks Digital Edition

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