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Ministerial praise for Newry and Armagh’s 100% ‘Eco-Schools’ uptake

Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan today praised schools in Newry and Armagh, on their 100% uptake of the Eco-Schools Programme.

This prestigious international environmental education initiative funded by the Department of the Environment encourages environmental action by schools which leads to improved attitudes and behaviours towards the environment.

Minister Durkan had written to schools back in September 2013 encouraging those still not registered with the Programme to do so and as a result 98% of schools across Northern Ireland are now part of the International Programme. In the Newry and Armagh Parliamentary Constituency, 100% of schools have accepted the Minister’s challenge and got involved in the programme.

Mark H. Durkan said: “This is a tremendous achievement for schools in Newry and Armagh. Our young people have a proud history spanning twenty years with a Northern Irish school being the first in the world to be awarded an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. The fact that every school in Newry and Armagh is actively working towards getting the international Green Flag Award is testament to how important the environment is to young people.

“Engaging them at the earliest age is critical if we are to sustain our environment. During my many visits to schools I have seen at first hand how Northern Ireland’s young people of all ages are making a real difference, altering attitudes, behaviours, making real savings and contributing to a better environment. I would encourage the remaining 28 schools still not registered to get involved in this effective programme in this new school year.”

There are currently 1,151 registered Eco-Schools in Northern Ireland, representing almost 98% of all schools and the programme continues to grow as more and more schools are choosing to become Eco-Schools.

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