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Systems Change for Sustainable Development: How Youth are Advancing Collective Action

Edith Chan, Sarah Hardwick, Jake Cheung, Michelle Supnet, Gia Nghi Nguyen, James Poh, Rebecca Huang

UN APFSD Young Pioneers Forum 2022

Edith Chan, Sarah Hardwick, Jake Cheung, Michelle Supnet, Gia Nghi Nguyen, James Poh and Rebecca Huang

Featuring: Edith Chan, Sarah Hardwick, Jake Cheung, Michelle Supnet, Gia Nghi Nguyen, James Poh and Rebecca Huang

Edith Chan, Sarah Hardwick, Jake Cheung, Michelle Supnet, Gia Nghi Nguyen, James Poh and Rebecca Huang

Youth Agenda is a Prominent Theme at APFSD 2022

The Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) 2022, organised by UN ESCAP, aim to spotlight youth around the world for their innovation and impact!

Stategic Education (NASDAQ:STRA)

Despite war, COVID-19 and the climate crisis, all of which compound the other challenges facing young people today, youth are raising their voices and mobilizing for a better future!”
— Secretary-General António Guterres of the United Nations
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, May 3, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Led by UN ESCAP and backed by a multi-stakeholder consortium, the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) is an annual and inclusive intergovernmental forum and a regional platform for supporting countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

During the UN APFSD Young Pioneers Forum, a panel titled “Systems Change for Sustainable Development: How Youth are Advancing Collective Action” was organized to feature youth voices and their ambitions to advance the 2030 Agenda. Featuring secondary school students from around the world, this panel recognized that teenagers should be the made primary actors of changemaking. Here are the key themes which these youth activists believe are paramount to move forward together.

A. Addressing Mental Health as a Priority

“My project, called Stress Zero Global, was created to help students within our school educate and alleviate themselves from stress and anxiety as mental health is a stigmatized topic in a school atmosphere. Youth around Asia can help us by expanding our brand of being global to help not only my school but schools around the world. We already established some chapters in Singapore and Japan, so it will be very helpful if we can branch out to other schools and countries.”

Mr. Jake Cheung, Head/Co-Founder of Stress Zero Global and Grade 11 Student at Shanghai American School Pudong (Shanghai)

B. Tackling Excessive Consumerism

“Sometimes, asking the question "Do I really need this?" fails to prevent temptation from winning us over when we shop, so here are some (hopefully practical) recommendations. Tip 1: When you plan to purchase a clothing item, try to form five outfits with it utilizing other pieces in your closet. If you struggle or realize that the outfits are similar, drop the product! Tip 2: If an object catches your eye while you are browsing online, leave it in your cart, return to it in a month's time and only buy it if you still desire it. I hope these tips are helpful!”

Ms. Edith Chan, Student Ambassador of Orbis and Year 10 Student at German Swiss International School (Hong Kong SAR)

C. Building up Resilience to Future-Proof Youth Impact

"It was a unique and eye-opening opportunity to be able to present at the UN APFSD Young Pioneers Forum, and get an opportunity to witness first hand the big ideas and projects that other youth around the world have to create systematic changes to our society for sustainable development. It was a great start to my own project, an excellent “square one” from which I can pursue solutions to my focus area: the lack of inspiration and resilience in secondary school students towards tackling international conflicts and achieving global citizenship. I hope that this is also an opportunity for youth all around Asia to support this idea and help drive change.”

Mr. James Poh, Team Member of MUN ACG Parnell and Year 12 Student at ACG Parnell College (New Zealand)

D. Starting the Social Impact Journey Young

“I am very honored to participate in this meeting with older students. Listening to other student’s solutions were very exciting. All the solutions presented were great, and can work towards the 2030 Agenda. There were quite a lot of education related ideas that has similar goals as mine, with a focus on SDG 4: Quality Education. Even though I haven’t officially started doing the steps I spoke about through my presentation, I am committed in helping kids at the age of from year 6-8 from less urban areas by giving them more resources and opportunities. After presenting these solutions, I wish that this can attract more pupils into helping reducing inequalities.”

Rebecca Huang, Marketing Team Leader of Hope Beans and Grade 8 Student at Yew Chung International School (Shanghai)

E. Driving Responsible Consumption and Production

“The opportunity to participate in such an impactful event like the UN APFSD was a true privilege. My project focused on responsible consumption and health, inspiring us to adopt a sustainable way of life. The conference was a great experience and it was interesting to hear about other people’s projects, forcing me to reflect upon mine. I’m very thankful for this wonderful opportunity and hope to continue working with the Young Pioneers Forum in the future.”

Ms. Sarah Hardwick, Student Head of Model UN and Year 11 Student at Nobel British International School Algarve (Portugal)

F. Bridging the Quality Education Gap

“Speaking at UN APFSD Youth Panel was a thrilling experience for me. It was so nice to meet students globally and share our projects with one another. One of the most important takeaway from being in the panel was how crucial education is. Youth around Asia can support my project, Learn Confidently, by spreading the word and sharing their ideas.”

Ms. Gia Nghi Nguyen, Founder of Learn Confidently and Grade 11 Student at American International School (Vietnam)

G. Promoting Wildlife and Natural Ecosystems

“Being given the opportunity to participate in the UN ESCAP Young Pioneers Forum, I feel very grateful to have heard all the ideas and thoughts shared by my fellow presenters. I think it is very important for youths all around the world regardless their age or experience, to have a platform and use it to speak on issues that matter to them. Although still being very new to building my own pioneer journey, the event inspired many ideas for me to build upon when designing a solution for the restriction of illegal poaching, and regrowth of wildlife. I look forward to being able to share findings and ideas in the future, as well as being able to hear more from others who share my passions for developing our world in a sustainable way.”

Ms. Michelle Supnet, Youth Advocate for Wildlife Protection and Grade 11 student at Oundle school (England)

To end, the world knows that it is impossible to achieve the UN SDGs by 2030 without the active participation of the largest generation of changemakers. Let us continue with us, as a collective society, putting youth front and center as decision makers!

Jason Lam
KIDsforSDGs
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UN APFSD Young Pioneers Forum 2022 - Youth Panel on Systems Change