Derry engineering graduate Rebecca-Jane McMonagle speaks out on environmental crisis ahead of Climate Craic festival


The 25-year-old is currently working on a climate action-focused documentary project across Ireland, after participating in advocacy training through the British Council and Co-operation Ireland.

As part of the British Council’s Active Citizens program, she participated in a number of workshops with qualified facilitators to develop her self-confidence, networking and project management skills, which led to the development of Climate Action on Film.

The project will involve Rebecca-Jane and her team of filmmakers capturing creative climate action across Ireland, including Climate Craic, the first-ever northern climate festival taking place this Sunday, September 19 at the grounds of Stormont Estate in Belfast.

Rebecca-Jane McMonagle

Speaking about the project, she said: “I got the idea for Climate Action on Film after realizing that there is so much going on in Ireland right now around climate action that people should know about.

“Not only is there Climate Craic, but there is also great work going on in local organizations such as Fridays For Future in the north and Zero Waste in the northwest, alongside big events like Science Week Ireland. at Dublin.

“These moments must be capitalized on and highlighted, in particular the creative actions undertaken by young people. It is important to recognize the excellent work done by these groups, while letting young people know that there are different ways to get involved. “

The film will also include footage from the Stendhal Music Festival, Extinction Rebellion and Green Life protests at Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Tipperary, with the aim of creating a 40-minute film ready to premiere by summer 2022.

She continued: “I had the good fortune to work with two incredibly talented filmmakers from Northern Ireland on this project – Emmet Thornton from Belfast and Gaigai Xie in Carrickfergus – and we are aiming for this documentary to be shown at festivals. such as the Foyle Film Festival, with filming wrapped up in February of next year, leaving us a few months for editing.

“It has been a fantastic experience for me, having never done anything like this before. The Active Citizens training has helped me go out and meet new people after the lockdown, learn how to manage a big project and, above all, to get back into activism. “

Jonathan Stewart, director of the British Council Northern Ireland, spoke about Rebecca Jane’s advocacy project.

He said: “We are delighted to see this incredible project emerging from training active citizens with Co-operation Ireland – which aimed to inspire young people to broaden their thinking and take action on the biggest problem facing our planet. What Rebecca-Jane was able to accomplish in such a short time is incredible, and we wish her all the best for filming in the months to come.

“This training is part of the British Council’s Climate Connection, which draws on our expertise in education, the arts, cultural exchange and the English language to help young people find innovative solutions to deal with the crisis. climate.

Peter Sheridan, CEO of Co-operation Ireland, said: “The challenge of climate change is a global issue, so we were delighted to get involved in the British Council’s Active Citizens program to bring together young people from across the island. ‘Ireland to raise awareness.

“Through the Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders program, we were able to provide advocacy training to three young leaders who have now trained another 19 people. I look forward to this great work continuing.

The very first Climate Craic festival in the north is free. It will offer a range of activities, including shows, eco-friendly workshops, guest speakers and exhibitions by local artists, all with the goal of helping more people discover and celebrate activism. climate. Find out more:

The Active Citizens project is part of the British Council’s global program, The Climate Connection, which brings together young people from around the world in 2021 and beyond to address the challenges of climate change ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, 1-12 November.

The project was carried out as part of Co-operation Ireland’s Future Leaders program, which aims to empower the next generation of young leaders and peacemakers across the island of Ireland to make a positive contribution to the future development of their communities, and through communities.

Active Citizens continues the work of the British Council, building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and abroad through the arts, education and teaching of English. To learn more about their work in Northern Ireland, visit or follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.


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