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Niall Barrett - External Relations Officer

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Niall Barrett, I’m 26 and an Environmental Youth Worker from Dublin City, Ireland. I have a B.Sc. in Environmental Management and a M.Sc. in Sustainable Development.

Which YEE member organisation do you belong to? What are the main activities of your organisation?

I work for ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s Youth Environmental and Education Organisation. I coordinate a Youth for Sustainable Development Peer Education Programme which works with young people aged 15-18, by exploring a range environmental and social justice issues. ECO-UNESCO engages with over 10,000 young people every year through a range of environmental education programmes and through our Young Environmentalist Awards, a programme that awards young people for undertaking environmental action projects that have a local to global impact.

How did you get involved in YEE?

I was sent to Helsinki to represent my organisation at YEE’s environmental action training and at the following Annual Meeting. I was elected to the Board of YEE at the Annual Meeting in July 2017.

What is YEE for you? 

For me, YEE is a network, not just of environmental organisations, but of likeminded young people from all across the continent of Europe. YEE events and training are a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, discuss environmental issues, and to make lifelong friends.

How do you see the future of YEE?

In the future, I would love to see a YEE representative in every member country. These individuals could play an advisory role for influencing national and international policy decisions by providing the youth voice to important decision makers.

Why did you want to become a Board member of YEE? 

I really wanted an opportunity to continue effective and meaningful engagement with the YEE network. Following the Environmental Action Days training and Annual conference in Helsinki, I identified the YEE Board as a fantastic way to meet this wish.

What is your main aim as a Board member for 2017-2018?

As External Relations Officer I hope to carry out my role to the best of my ability. I would like to use this position to further develop the international recognition of the YEE network of youth environmental organisations at a European level.

What can you bring to YEE as a new Board member? 

I hope that I can bring my knowledge of the NGO/Not for Profit sector in Ireland, as well as my knowledge and experience working with young people on environmental action projects and enabling young people to influence public policy in favour of environmental conscious decisions.

Why do you care about the environment? What does the environment mean to you?

I have had a passion for environmental protection from a young age, beginning with my time involved with the Scouts. Through my time spent in Irish nature I seen the human impact on delicate natural habitats first hand and was compelled to make a difference. I chose environmentally focused topics to study and university and eventually to build a career from. For me, the environment is an interconnected system from all life relies on. It must be respected and protected from negative human impacts.