The pupils are involved in the Eco-Schools ‘Young Reporters for the Environment’ project which sees pupils investigate a local environmental problem and report on solutions to the issue.
The Minister was eager to learn how the school is working towards getting the highly-respected, internationally-recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag which will require the completion of the Eco-Schools seven step process.
Mark H Durkan said: “Our young people care deeply about the environment, something that we can all learn from and encourage. I believe passionately that this work with schools and young people is vital not only for the local environment and wider community in the here and now, but for generations to come.
“I commend Lismore for learning more about their environment in such a novel way. I have been probed by many journalists and believe me, this was every bit as tough. The pupils have such a wide understanding and passion for their environment and that is heart-warming to see.
Commenting on St Patrick’s role as an eco school the Minister continued: “Eco-Schools is the world’s largest environmental education programme operating in 59 countries from South Africa to the USA, Mongolia to Malaysia. It involves over 15 million pupils, more than 1.2 million teachers and numerous other parents, governors and caretakers. When I took up the post of Environment Minister one of my goals was to see every school an Eco-School. We have now achieved that, making us the only region in the world to achieve this level of success.
“Now, I look forward to a new goal, seeing Lismore and all our schools and young people continuing on their long-term Eco-Schools journeys and to seeing more and more schools achieving the prestigious, internationally-recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag.”
Dolores Foster, Vice Principal of Lismore Comprehensive School commented: “It’s an absolute privilege to serve the Lismore community and we are delighted that the Minister has visited us today to encourage us as we keep working towards our Green Flag Award.”