This year has been like no other, and one educational programme that successfully transitioned online is the Climate Ambassador programme. Twelve awards for an Outstanding Achievement were presented to individuals and teams from across Ireland at the virtual Climate Ambassador Awards on November 26 for their work in communicating and taking action on climate change.
Three Climate Ambassadors from West Cork were awarded the Outstanding Achievement for 2020 and deserve a special mention: Aiyana Helder, Treasa Cadogan and Alice Glendinning.
Bandon Grammar School Student Aiyana Helder spoke at assemblies on fast fashion and climate action, and spoke to school management regarding biodiversity improvements, climate education and energy reduction. She also spoke at the UCC Climate Conference and their Green Flag Day, and published articles on women’s rights and climate change. While not yet allowed vote, Aiyana is very politically active in striking and campaigning for Polluter’s Out, the Green New Deal, Keep it in the Ground, and many more.
UCC Student Treasa Cadogan started an incredible Farmers’ Market on Cape Clear Island to encourage her community to consume more sustainable food. She shared her story at two virtual United Nations events and is currently exploring the world of permaculture in her final year of study.
Project Manager Alice Glendinning joined the sustainability team in work and carried out several presentations on sustainability in the workplace to both TY’s and the local Active Retirement Group. She co-founded the Doughnut Economy West Cork Group and started a weekly Doughnut Economics book club and completed a course on driving business towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
164 citizens from a wide range of backgrounds including secondary school students and teachers, university students, academics, farmers and businesspeople were all selected to be Climate Ambassadors in 2020. The programme, now in its third year, has gone from strength-to-strength with Climate Ambassadors gaining key skills and confidence to take action, and inspiring others to join them on their journey.
Climate Ambassadors are provided with training on climate science and communications and become part of a powerful network of committed individuals sharing their knowledge, learning from each other and building relationships. Throughout the year they are asked to undertake four key actions – two climate communications and two climate actions, though many individuals go over and above what is required.
The Awards are a celebration of the hard work that has taken place over the last year and the enormous effort and dedication that the Climate Ambassadors have shown throughout the process. To mark this, each Climate Ambassador received a certificate of recognition.