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Young Changemaker Incubator

Hong Kong’s first blog for SDG education news and announcements


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Hana Chow - 2023-24 ITSF YAC Co-Chair

Hana is in Year 11 at West Island School. Through ESF, she has experience being a policy director with the ESF Sustainability Alliance which is part of the overall strategy approach within ESF to guide sustainability across its 22 schools in Hong Kong. This is of major importance when you consider even the very basic ideas of building maintenance, energy use, school transport, feeding students, classroom materials, cleaning policies and so on. In addition, Hana has been actively involved with Hands on HK (volunteering), Sunshine Action (hunger & homelessness) and the 24hr Race (anti-slavery). Elected Co-Chair for 2023-24, she supported Natalie in organizing the YAC event for International Youth Day and will now be the lead organizer for the YAC event for the International Day of Education 2024. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

UNGA continues

Image by UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto   At the UN General Assembly last week, leaders turned their attention to some of the most urgent issues of our time as highlighted in the past couple of years - the climate crisis, development finance, preventing future pandemics. UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ addressed leaders at the Climate Ambition Summit: “The future of humanity is in your hands,” the Secretary-General told them, warning that the world must accelerate its climate action efforts. “We can still build a world of clear air, green jobs, and affordable clean power for all.” In a meeting on pandemic preparedness, global leaders reached a historic agreement to strengthen international cooperation to help avoid a repeat of the devastating health and socio-economic impacts caused by COVID-19 and ensure the world is better prepared for future pandemics. At a high-level meeting on financing for development, leaders also discussed in . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay   Harnessing Scientific Evidence and Decision Making to Accelerate the SDGs (IISD) Renewables are cheaper than ever yet fossil fuel use is still growing – here’s why (The Conversation) Might geopolitical competition driven by US-China rift be good for renewable energy investments? (Eco-business) UN wants cash and commitments to rescue stalled development goals (Eco-business) 8 Easy, Eco-Friendly Swaps To Make Right Now (greenqueen) Stop calling people ‘climate refugees’ (CHN) Why do some environmental shocks lead to disaster while others don't? (sciencedaily) Biden launches US ‘climate corps’ amid pressure from environment advocates (Aljazeera) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Natalie Cheung - 2023-24 ITSF YAC Co-Chair

Natalie began her SDG journey with ITS when she was selected for the 2022 Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme which we run alongside UNITAR. Over that course, she developed an idea which led to the creation of an initiative called Mental Health Means. Subsequently, under the mentoring of the ITS Young Changemaker Incubator, she was able to run her first mental health conference in early 2023. Natalie is a Year 12 student at the Chinese International School in Hong Kong. The school has been very supportive of her efforts and provided the venue for her conference. Natalie jumped at the chance to join the Youth Advisory Committee and her application was approved with ease by the outgoing committee members. At the first 23-24 committee meeting, Natalie was elected Co-Chair by her fellow committee members and went on the lead the organization and delivery of the ITSF event in August 2023 for International Youth Day, kindly hosted by Canadian International School Hong Kong and featurin . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Local community action

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay   A good article from Ryan Hagen on LinkedIn about the impact we can have by being active citizens at a local level i.e. within our own immediate communities. Most people will think of local government – town halls, district councils and so on. And this is where Hagen focuses. He points out an estimate that 35% of emissions in California could be wiped out by actions taken at local government level, simply applying the powers that they already have. He makes the point though that local governments won’t act unless local people demand that they do. This is especially important because local government may also be more accessible by local business lobbying that usually has profit propositions in front of any other. One of the key reasons that profit chasing increases emissions is that externalities can be created (therefore not paid for in money terms by business). And few people seem willing or able to price those externalities bac . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by Pixeleye from Pixabay   Climate change ‘dystopian future already here’ (Aljazeera) New research reveals why and when the Sahara Desert was green (sciencedaily) Greenwashing cases against airlines in Europe, US (reuters) Al Gore and Lila Preston question everything in their firm’s new climate report (techcrunch) Debt relief must break dependence on fossil fuel exports (CHN) Small islands slam ‘endless’ climate talks at landmark maritime court hearing (CHN) Goodbye, Leather: Apple Ditches Luxury Material for Eco-Friendly Woven Fabric Alternative (greenqueen) From denial to delay: Climate action blockers adopt new tactics (Eco-business) People who grow their own fruit and veg waste less food and eat more healthily, says research (The Conversation) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Salt Lake shrinking

I liked this article in The Guardian about the famous Salt Lake in Utah, USA, and how it is in decline. It starts with a striking photo which shows boat jetties left high and dry as the water level has fallen so severely in recent years. It goes on to present an explanation which should be of interest to many but especially students taking high school level geography. The first reaction anyone would have on seeing the pic is that drought is the problem. And this is true. But drought in the modern world often is not a purely natural phenomenon. In almost all cases we can see human inputs to the issue, both direct and indirect. The direct factors relate to water extraction. When we overload drainage basins with people and/or industrial-style farming, we extract far more water than is available. It is a simple budget. If water out exceeds water in, then drought will follow. This extends the usual definition of natural drought as being a period of below average precipitation, as human dri . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

UN General Assembly 2023-24

The UNGA opened its 78th session (2023-2024) on 5 September 2023 under the theme, ‘Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.’ The Assembly is the “annual general meeting” of the UN and the most important of the year. This year’s President – Dennis Francis of Trinidad – reminded everyone of the overarching need to remember the core values and purposes of the UN to address challenges. He underscored climate change alongside entrenched poverty as continuing to present the fundamental issues humanity faces, and that geopolitical conflict only hinders progress. He emphasized the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs as the core framework around which everyone and every country can coalesce. He made a point to say "Let us accelerate progress by capitalizing on the enablers of youth, innovation, and technology." . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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