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Your Council working for You, on Climate Action. #LAClimateAction

As part of our continued focus on #LAClimateAction we want to bring your attention to action in community engagement and awareness. Our activities in this area are essential to ensuring we can all play our part in meeting the climate change challenge. For Climate Action week, we are today featuring information on one of those initiatives

“Climate Camps” for Children

Background

The EPA and M Co., in collaboration with the Eastern & Midlands CARO and Kildare County Council, facilitated a workshop at Solas Bhríde, Kildare Town, on climate impacts/issues local to County Kildare and potential solutions/initiatives which could be considered as part of the rollout of the National Dialogue on Climate Action.  This workshop was attended by representatives from local business communities, local voluntary and community organisations, local authority staff, the Eastern & Midlands CARO, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and climate action NGOs.

At this workshop, engagement with young people was discussed and one of the initiatives suggested was a climate camp which could be run over the summer holidays to educate young people about climate change in a positive, fun and interactive way.

Climate Change Camp for Children – July 2019

The Eastern & Midlands CARO, Kildare County Council, The Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens, Kildare Tidy Towns, The Hive Youth Hub, and Met Éireann, together with the EPA & M Co. worked together to facilitate a Climate Camp for 11-14-year-olds, hosted at the Irish National Stud in Kildare over 3 days in July 2019, with a total of 30 participants. 

Camp programme

Day 1 - focused on weather and climate, facilitated by Met Éireann.  It included presentations to and discussion with the participants about the various components of weather & climate, as well as the setting up of a mobile weather station, which was monitored over the 3 days of the camp. 

Day 2 focused on biodiversity (including ecosystem mapping) and climate change adaptation measures, both locally and nationally. The day was facilitated by Dr. Mary O' Connor, Ecologist and Chairperson of Kildare Tidy Towns and by Paul Regan from the Eastern & Midlands CARO who used the Kildare County Council Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and National Climate Action Plan for reference. 

Day 3 included presentations and interactive games dealing with climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals and the positive climate actions that individuals can take.  The first part of the day was facilitated by Marianne Creyf, Cool Planet Champion and Sorcha O’Neill, a local Climate Ambassador. At the end of the 3rd day, participants presented to a panel of elected members from the Kildare/Newbridge Municipal District and Kildare County Council’s Director of Service for Environmental and Water Services, on what they believe the urgent issues are, based on what they learned over the 3 days.  They also discussed their solutions/ideas and had an opportunity to ask questions and discuss with the panel what the local authority and its elected members can and are doing about climate change.

Benefits of Climate Change Camp

The camp represented collaboration between local business, the local authority, local community, and voluntary and state organisations, who pooled their resources and worked together to facilitate engagement of young people, helping to educate them about climate change: how it can impact at global and local levels, and their contribution to the impacts/solutions, in a positive, interactive and fun way. 

The camp was well received by the participants and it is hoped it will run again in 2020.

For full details on the range of climate actions that local authorities have and are taking, please see the recent report A Profile of Local Government Climate Actions in Ireland, published this week and featuring the wide range of climate actions undertaken in the period 2011-2018 by the local authority sector.

Please follow our social media channels and #LAClimateAction this week to find out more about what we have done and what we have planned

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