Global Environment Outlook for Youth, Asia and the Pacific

United Nations Environment Programme (2019-01)

The future always belongs to the next generation. Without their engagement and leadership, that future cannot be sustainable. Fortunately, young people today are more passionate and involved in environmental issues than any who have come before them. Not only are they themselves taking action, they are mobilizing their families, communities and society at large to tackle the great environmental challenges of our time. Initiative evolves into leadership. This is why youth empowerment is not just a slogan but a core tenet of environmental solutions. In Asia and the Pacific particularly, we are all too familiar with the issues. Rapid economic growth, urbanization and lifestyle changes have been a boon to living standards. Yet this growth has been coupled with unwise use of natural resources and a tendency to over-consume. That means that environmental protection is not just the business of the environmentalists, but everybody. Young people understand this intuitively more than most, and that’s why, across the region, we see them disproportionately driving change. UN Environment has recognized many of those young people working to make a difference. Through awards like the Young Champions of the Earth and the Asia Pacific Low-Carbon Lifestyle Challenges, UN Environment is helping raise the profile and prerogative of youth to effect change. The stories of these winners reflect the creativity and lateral thinking that continue to inspire and influence others across the generations. Knowledge remains the prerequisite for solutions, however. That is the premise behind the Global Environment Outlook for Youth, Asia-Pacific. This publication presents a clear and expansive picture of current environmental challenges for youth and young professionals with non-environmental backgrounds. It is a jumping-off point for those who want to do more for the planet but lack fluency in the environmental trends and challenges in Asia and the Pacific. Whereas conventional scientific publications can be technical and esoteric, this report is designed to be more interesting and accessible to a wider, younger audience. I hope that this publication gives young people the chance to engage with environmental topics in a substantive way, and help spread that knowledge. I also hope it encourages decision makers throughout Asia and the Pacific to support and empower young people. Ultimately, it is only with young people’s efforts that we will deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

Global environment outlook (GEO)

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