The Dublin Bay Biosphere Award

Experience - Learn - Take Action

The Dublin Bay Biosphere Award has been developed in partnership with Scouting Ireland and is a three part programme which challenges young people to

  • Use your senses to connect with nature.
  • learn about its processes and understand human impacts, both positive and negative.
  • Take action to protect our UNESCO designated biosphere.

The award is open to any young person, scout or non-scout and the videos below will give you some ideas to help you complete the award.

There’s no need to register, but to earn the award you’ll need to show evidence of your efforts to ‘experience, learn and take action’. This evidence should be emailed to or shared on the Better World website.

If you want help with ideas for setting up your award programme please email

Biosphere Business Partner City Kayaking facilitate a Biosphere Award programme through their kayaking and sailing experience.


Part One - Explore

“Part one - get outside and experience the environment in which we live - use all of your senses sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell.

Visit local parks and wild spaces, spend time there, feel the wind in your face, smell the flowers, touch the tree barks, move through the sand and water…”

Remember to make maps and take pictures to use as evidence of your work

Part Two - Learning

In this section we challenge you to learn about nature. Why is it important? What ecosystem services does it offer? What other benefits does it bring? Take time to think about mans impacts. What negative impacts can people have on the environment and how might we prevent them? What positive actions are being taken and is there anything we can do to help?

Think about who could you can ask and where can you look to find the answers?


The Value of Trees

The oak provides a home for many different species as this video explains, but what other services does it provide?

Can they help reduce the impacts of climate change? If so, how? Do trees make us feel differently? Are we more relaxed when surrounded by trees and if the answer is yes, then why? Is it possible to assign a monetary value to these services?

What other questions should be asked about the value of trees and the value of nature???


The Value of Bees

The association and relationship between pollinators and flowering plants is essential to the production of nuts, fruits, berries, and the vegetables that we and other animals eat. But if bees are so important, why are they under threat? What is being done to protect our bees and other pollinators?

Some people are planting wildflower meadows, but could this have a negative impact if those areas are traditionally used by Brent Geese to feed?

You may need to consider and understand these issues when working on your action plan.


The Importance of Shelter

Smaller Birds and animals avoid open spaces if they can as they are more likely to be predated upon by larger creatures in the open. We can help create habitats by building nesting boxes, for Birds and Bat’s and even hedgehogs. What other things can we introduce to our gardens to make them more nature friendly?

Is there anything else we can do to help nature find a home and move around safely?


What’s Under Our Feet?

A bug hunt under rocks and logs is a fantastic way of seeing the intertwining web of nature. The micro world really is the building blocks of the rest of life and fascinating to discover. What important roles do woodlice play?

When the leaves fall in the winter, rather than being a nuisance, blocking drains and making paths and roads slippery, could they be collected and used for other purposes which benefit us and nature?


The Importance of Water

Why not try some pond dipping? Under the water there are so many cool things to observe pond bugs, whirly gigs, frog spawn etc. etc.

Waterways and freshwater tributaries are like the veins of blood in our own arms, they are the life blood of a healthy catchment area, we should do what we can to learn about them and protect them.

How can we tell if the water is clean? What can we do to ensure our rivers and ponds remain healthy habitats for wildlife?


Part Three - Taking Action

After experiencing and learning so much about nature you’ll probably want to do something to help protect our wildlife. Take time to think about what you can do.

Perhaps you can help scientists with their research by providing essential information from your own observations? Maybe take part in the BirdWatch Ireland Garden Bird Survey? Or maybe you could support a project organised through the Biodiversity Data Centre?

Perhaps you could raise awareness of our biosphere by writing a blog for your school or community newsletter? Perhaps you could post something on your website, or share information via social media?

Perhaps you could do some home or community conservation work by making your garden or estate more nature friendly? Or perhaps you’d like to get involved in a conservation programme within our biosphere? You can always email to seek ideas or offer your support.

Biosphere Award Information Leaflet Scouting Ireland Nature Leaflet

Biospheres are places where nature and culture connect. They are internationally recognised for their biological diversity yet also actively managed to promote a balanced relationship between people and nature. A biosphere is a special designation awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) but managed in partnership by communities, NGOs and local and national governments. The biosphere designation brings no new regulations; its aims are achieved by people working together.

The UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) Programme was launched in 1971 and is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. To mark this milestone the Dublin Bay Biosphere is launching a Dublin Bay Biosphere Award which encourages young people to immerse themselves in nature, learn about the process going on around them, including the impacts from humans, and to take action to protect our biosphere. This can be achieved through nature conservation or awareness raising.