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Better Outcomes Brighter Futures The national policy framework for children and young people 2014 – 2020 includes the aim (5.3) that children and young people should be ‘Civically engaged, socially and environmentally conscious’. It also commits the government to ‘Promote and recognise young people’s active citizenship and engagement in democratic processes, participation in social and environmental activism and innovation, volunteering and social entrepreneurship’ (pp.104). There are currently no other government policies or frameworks specifically addressing green volunteering.
The European Solidarity Corps is a volunteers-based initiative which enables 18- to 30-year-olds to make a hands-on contribution in areas such as disaster relief, social integration, environmental protection and poverty reduction. The European Solidarity Corps is an initiative of the European Union and is managed nationally in Ireland by Léargas. Further information on the European Solidarity Corps is available in Chapter 2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes.
I-VOL is the national database of volunteering opportunities and listings. It includes several youth green volunteering positions. Further information about I-VOL is available in Chapter 2.6 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities. I-VOL is run by Volunteer Ireland, the national volunteer development organisation and a support body for all local Volunteer Centres in Ireland. Volunteer Ireland promotes and celebrates volunteering, including green volunteering, in Ireland.
Further information about volunteering is available in Chapter 2. Voluntary activities.
Green production and consumption
Public transport offers reduced fares for children and young people up to the age of 18. The Student Leap Card is the national student travel and discount card. The card saves third level students money on public transport services and encourages green transport.
The National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland, 2014- 2020 includes production and consumption patterns in the list of policy areas that can be linked to education for sustainable development.
UNICEF Lessons discuss the impacts that climate change, conflict and poverty have on children and young people. It includes a lesson on based around Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 responsible consumption and production. These classes are aimed at 13- to 18-year-olds. They aim to support participants to start a global movement for change beginning in our own communities. UNICEF Ireland with the support of Irish Aid.
The Sustainable Development Goals and Youth is a resource pack created by the National Youth Council of Ireland. encourages young people and those who work with young people to learn about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and think about how these Goals can be incorporated into our everyday lives. It includes activities to teach youths about sustainable consumption.
The Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Litter Less competition is open to students in Green-Schools secondary schools. Participants investigate and report on local litter and waste issues in their schools and communities and produce an article, video or photograph for the competition. There is an overall competition prize fund of €1,500 available for the National winners, who will then go on to represent Ireland on the International stage. In 2020 the competition was linked to SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. Green-Schools are discussed in Chapter 9.4 Raising awareness about global issues.