Scoil Mhuire Buncrana teacher Denise Dowds has been recognised as a Climate Hero at An Taisce’s inaugural Climate Ambassador Awards 2018.
Ms Dowds was honoured for teaching by example through her work on the An Taisce’s Climate Ambassador programme throughout 2018.
Ms. Dowds started the year by securing a regular column in a local newspaper for her ‘Cli-Mates’: the students contributed each week by researching topics such as single-use plastic, Ireland’s agri-industry and sustainable transport.
“It’s a newfound way of learning, leading by example and carrying out lots of climate actions and communications, empowering the students, while they have some fun along the way”, says Gary Tyrrell, Climate Ambassador Officer with An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit.
Denise is one of only two citizens that were recognised as being true Climate Heroes. Nine citizens from across Ireland were also awarded Outstanding Achievements at An Taisce’s Climate Ambassador Awards on Thursday 29th November 2018 for their work in communicating and taking action on climate change.
Minister Sean Canney T.D. attended the awards and commended the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment of the Climate Ambassadors all of who worked tirelessly throughout the year to engage their local communities to take action on climate.
Climate Ambassadors held 726 climate related events, planted 4,892 trees and reached over 3.5million people during 2018.
Minister Canney reflected on the impact of the Climate Ambassador programme community and grassroots level and its contribution to the wider societal transition required to make Ireland a low-carbon, climate-resilient society.
He said: “The Climate Ambassador Programme, has exceeded all expectations in its success to date. It is a vital programme to help raise awareness about climate change and how individuals, communities and business can help.
“Without a doubt, climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing us all. Engagement on the ground is crucial if we’re going to work together to tackle climate change. Hearing about the great work carried out by Irelands first Climate Ambassadors I see this programme as another step towards making Ireland a leader in Climate Change.”
The Climate Ambassador Awards is a celebration of the work undertaken by An Taisce Climate Ambassadors in schools, universities and communities throughout Ireland during 2018.
Over 100 citizens were selected to be Climate Ambassadors with the goal of engaging their local community about the issues of climate change. The Ambassadors come from a wide range of backgrounds from secondary school students and teachers, to university students, academics, retirees, farmers and business leaders.