A group of young people from Ireland’s first Children and Young People’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss have launched a set of educational resources following on from one of their recommendations about raising awareness on the issue. The legacy of the Assembly which took place in 2022 has continued through a host of activities including a follow-on project called Teaching Resources for Youth-informed Biodiversity Education (TRYBE) led by MaREI at University College Cork. The ideas for the resources came from the young people involved and the team worked together over a number of months to co-design an activity book and other resources including a video which is scripted and voiced by the children themselves.
The TYRBE project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, addresses some of the Assembly’s calls to action around education and raising awareness of biodiversity loss: “To provide education for children, young people and adults that raises awareness and helps them to understand biodiversity loss, the consequences of our actions, and the things we can do to address this issue”. The resources, including a biodiversity activity book for children and a biodiversity activity calendar, were published to coincide with Science Week Ireland. The activity book is also available in Irish. A set of resources for secondary schools will also be available.
On Saturday 14 October, members of the Assembly were joined by Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform at a reunion gathering in Airfield Estate, Dublin. Minister Noonan discussed with the children and young people how their recommendations, published in April 2023, have informed the government’s work to protect biodiversity. The reunion gathering marked one year since the Assembly met for two weekends of deliberation in October 2022. The reunion brought together the 35 members of the Assembly, aged 7 – 17, along with 9 Young Advisors and researchers from Dublin City University and University College Cork and provided an opportunity to reconnect and reflect on the work of the Assembly and its legacy. The Assembly produced a vision statement, six key messages and 58 calls to action which were presented to the Citizen’s Assembly on Biodiversity Loss and to the Government in a report. Members of the Assembly have been invited to a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment and Climate Action on November 22nd to further discuss their work.
Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Teaching Resources for Youth-informed Biodiversity Education (TRYBE) is an initiative coordinated by MaREI which seeks to engage and empower children and young people with the knowledge to understand the value of biodiversity and to address the critical challenges of biodiversity loss. As part of this project, a suite of educational resources were developed with a fantastic group of young volunteers in partnership with researchers from DCU and a specialist in youth climate engagement, Katie Reid.