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Chennai SCP ( Sustainable Consumption & Production/ SDG 12) Youth Action Campaign is an alarming reminder to rethink how we all can collectively work towards promoting positive and feasible lifestyle choices and actions in our communities and neighbourhoods by showcasing the urgent need of changing our consumption and production patterns and moving towards a more sustainable living right from our households to our workspaces. One urgent goal through a series of experiential action-driven activities is to recognize, promote and support young people’s positive role as engaged citizens, positive agents of change, bold innovators and committed partners towards solving long term environmental challenges.
By 2050, Chennai's population may reach a whopping 13.8+ million. While the population in cities grows, there also exists extensive consumption along not just the traditional lifestyle items such as food, but also in the domains of well-being( physical/ psychological), fashion, travel, as the public moves towards more advanced living. Chennai city, on average, generates around 5,000 tonnes of waste daily, comprising wet and dry waste. ( Greater Chennai corporation, 2021 ). Based on the per capita generation of solid waste it is estimated that by 2026 about 6590 tonnes of solid waste will be generated in the local body areas of CMA including Chennai City. ( Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority ).
This shows the urgent need to reverse the current consumption trends, noting that 4- 5 million new consumers will be urban youth who set consumption patterns, get a significant portion of their information from social media, and will be tomorrow’s decision-makers. Furthermore, decisions taken by the most privileged among us will determine how severe the environmental/ climate change impacts will be, especially for the most marginalized section of people in our cities. It brings into account the need for systematic behavioural change to reduce our daily impacts in our cities as simple as reducing waste, or the clothes that last longer, and advocating for cleaner mobility around us. Currently, our world is having no universal sustainable lifestyle framework mainstreamed through policy forums since citizens make daily decisions based on their local context and Chennai is no different. ( Garette Clark, UNEP Program Officer, SL Team, Youth Environment Assembly, 2021 )
Every lifestyle choice we possess and make has an environmental impact, whether direct or indirect. We as citizens of cities have the potential to either strengthen the age-old outcomes or support a just and a ‘The Whole of Community Approach' to help pave the way for more sustainable solutions so that they become normal parts of everyone’s daily lives and help about a better future.
Today, cities are associated with 60 to 80 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, consume 75 per cent of natural resources, and account for 50 per cent of all waste (Source: UNEP, 2012). By 2050, the number of people living in urban areas is expected to reach 6.3 billion – roughly two-thirds of the global population. Terms like “quality of life” and “sustainable lifestyles” regularly appear in the media, illustrating that people are already weaving sustainability into their daily decision-making.
About #ChennaiYouthAction :-
Together with Greater Chennai Corporation/ Chennai Smart City Ltd. and with the support and guidance of United Nations Environment Programme Sustainable Lifestyles & Education team, Chennai SCP ( Sustainable Consumption & Production/ SDG 12 ) Youth Action, We invite you to participate in the #ChennaiYouthAction challenge and share your multimedia stories based on sustainable lifestyle choices and actions you take on a day-to-day basis in the following domains: 1. Food 2. Stuff 3. Mobility 4. Money 5. Fun. 6. Work that is responsible for the majority of GhG emissions.
#ChennaiYouthAction challenge is based on the Anatomy of Action ( AoA) framework: developed by Unschools and UNEP in 2019. The challenge strives to kickstart a series of creative interventions to launch a city-wide discussion on sustainable consumption and production, and offer youth the scientific evidence, social media material and tips to showcase mindful consumption and set planet positive trends ( Accelerating Action for the Planet, ECOSOC Youth Forum, 2021 ). By changing what we eat, how we spend our money, how we get around, what we do for fun and rethink on spaces we go to work outside our homes, we can together create new ways of living more sustainably in the post-covid World!
Guidelines for activators:-
***Anyone from across the planet can register for the #ChennaiYouthAction challenge ***No age barrier ***