Why are we here?
Our world today is full of increasingly complex global issues like rising inequality, climate change, sustainability of resources and a rapidly changing economy, just to name a few.
If we are to reverse the damage that has been done, and ensure a sustainable future is secured for future generations, we need to act now.
At present Australia is facing one of the highest species extinction rates in the world, as well as experiencing increased pressures on biodiversity and natural resources due to land clearing, development, climate change and land-use pressures.
In September 2015 World Leaders committed to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDG’s). The 17 goals to achieve sustainability on a global scale by 2030 aim to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and to fix climate change.
The SDGs offer the opportunity for a “win:win” for Australia: by promoting more sustainable development we can improve the quality of life and opportunity here in Australia while also promoting prosperity in the many developing countries in our region.
Whilst Australia has no difficulty in reaching a number of the SDG targets we face major challenges in meeting the SDGs relating to sustainable energy (goal 7), sustainable consumption and production (goal 12), and climate change (goal 13).
Among other targets, these call for a doubling in the rate of improvement in energy efficiency (goal 7.3), implementing a 10-year framework on sustainable consumption and production (goal 12.1), and halving food waste by 2030 (goal 12.3). Australian households waste about 20% of the food they purchase per year – that’s an estimated 361 kg of food waste per person per year, so there is plenty of scope for improvement. This is vital for our economic future and security.
To realise these Goals there is overwhelming encouragement to engage communities and youth around the world to take action on one or more of these goals in whatever capacity they can. The United Nations is encouraging people and organisations already working towards these goals to work with youth and community, and empower them to take action.
Our work with young people has shown them to be intelligent, creative, self-mobilising, and have a strong capacity to solve the issues we face on a global and local scale. Our programs provide an innovative vehicle to support the next generation of young people who want the tools to rethink the world and create a more sustainable future.