The environmental landscape is changing rapidly, and the youth of today face a suite of both challenges and opportunities. As the human population increases, the decline in natural resources is accelerating at an unsustainable rate. At the same time, new frontiers are being explored to improve people’s relationship with the environment and ambitious goals have been developed for transforming the world into a better place.
Today’s youth serve as vital agents of change in business and industry, science and technology, government and education. Vibrant, energetic and enthusiastic, young people are also a critical pool of change makers. They need to make the right choices to ensure prosperity, opportunities and well-being, as well as to secure a future for their families.
This publication aims to reach out to young people in Asia and the Pacific – tertiary students, young adults and early career professionals. It is intended to enhance their knowledge of three primary subjects – the natural environment, human health and the built environment – to promote a better understanding of the region’s emerging environmental issues, their causes and effects.
Another ambitious goal of this publication is to empower young people to become involved in action and decision making to better protect the natural environment, improve human health, and create more sustainable and resilient cities and towns. And because all the Earth’s systems are linked, these environmental challenges are also connected to one another. The report addresses how these issues are linked, why youth should care about the environment and why they should act right now.
A summary of the content of each chapter is listed below:
- Chapter 1 elaborates the context of the Asia-Pacific region and the crucial role of youth in addressing regional environmental challenges.
- Chapter 2 presents the benefits derived from nature and demonstrates the critical role of healthy ecosystems in contributing to human survival and well-being.
- Chapter 3 explores emerging issues of air and water pollution, food security and the effects of mismanaged waste on human well-being. This chapter advocates a balance between environmental wellbeing and economic development.
- Chapter 4 addresses the natural and built environments, outlining options for a resilient and sustainable future.
- Chapter 5 concludes the report by highlighting youth action for a better future, including a specific survey conducted for this report of youth, for youth and by youth.