The initiative run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful educates and fosters environmental awareness in children.
Derry City and Strabane District Council stated they were unable to allocate the necessary £11, 000 to continue the scheme amid budget pressures. However, following assistance from Mr Durkan, organics company Natural World Products (NWP) Recycle have stepped in to fund the programme for 2023/24.
Said the Foyle ML: “I am delighted that NWP have stepped up to the plate at this difficult time to ensure this invaluable environmental initiative can continue.
“The Eco School Programme has already inspired and empowered thousands of kids across the North to make positive environmental changes in their daily lives as well as encouraging or rather pestering, their parents to make similar choices.
“We all have a moral duty to leave this planet in a better condition than we found it, which is why education is so critical in the fight back against climate change.
“It remains one of my proudest achievements during my tenure as Environment Minister to get every school in the North involved in the Eco Schools programme- we were the only place in the world to achieve that feat.
“We should be building on that progress not cutting off its resources.
“Educating our children on the importance of a sustainable future is an integral cog in achieving zero emission targets set out in the Climate Change Act.
“I fully acknowledge the budget pressures facing Council at this time and ideally, the onus to fund this programme should fall to central government going forward.”