Exemplar Ulidia hosts visitors from global eco conference

Ulidia Integrated College welcomed 30 visitors to view the school's good practice in eco matters. INCT 47-758-CON
Ulidia Integrated College welcomed 30 visitors to view the school's good practice in eco matters. INCT 47-758-CON

An international party of visitors have been learning about a Carrickfergus school’s innovative approach to environmental challenges.

Ulidia Integrated College hosted the group who were attending the Eco Schools National Operators conference in Belfast.

They were treated to a presentation by the school’s eco team about progress in key areas of focus including waste, transportation, energy, and global perspective.

The 30 visitors then toured the college to meet the pupils and to see first hand why Ulidia is an Ambassador Eco School Northern Ireland.

Principal Eugene Martin said; “I am very proud that Ulidia Integrated College is an Ambassador Eco School for Northern Ireland. The Eco Schools programme is integrated throughout the curriculum within the college and enhances the learning of our students.

“Having international visitors to the college to witness our programme in action emphasises the importance of the programme, and was an enjoyable experience for our learners.”

The Eco Schools programme runs in 60 countries around the world with Australia and Switzerland the newest members and is thought to be the largest education initiative with over 15 million pupils engaged globally.

In Northern Ireland it is operated by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, supported by the Department of the Environment and was established here in 1994 when the programme was first launched.

During the three-day conference in Belfast, the international delegates shared good practice and discussed the ongoing development of Eco Schools for the benefit of young people and our environment globally. Ulidia was visited as an exemplar of good practice.

Mark H Durkan, Minister of the Environment, whose department supports the Eco Schools programme in Northern Ireland, said: “It is an acknowledgement of our own local Eco-Schools successes that we have been chosen to host this conference. One hundred percent of schools here are Eco Schools.

“I am proud to be able to support both the Eco-Schools programme and this year’s National Operators conference. The Eco-Schools programme has been responsible for introducing hundreds of thousands of our pupils to environmental values and sustainable behaviour. Adopting these ideas is essential if we are to successfully confront today’s environmental challenges.”