As per Rio + 20 Summit, studies from leading scientists, professionals, and abrupt climatic condition there is vital link between our living practices and depletion of our natural resources. United Nations setup various groups and forums for adopting Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as post 2015 approach after completion of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in a participatory and engagement way uniting all stakeholders. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid emphasis on sustainable lifestyle, growth of low income people through clean, green environment, healthy practices, education, research, and development especially at the UN’s address and drives such as Swacch Bharat, energy, water, sanitation, and education.
Sustainable development and climate change emerged as one of the major challenges in the 21st century for which we need immediate actions by everyone. Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015 provide the direction and setup to restrict rise in global mean surface temperature to 1.5°C well below 2°C, and establishing funding mechanism for research, development, and implementation of new technologies. Formation of International Solar Alliance of 120 countries lead by India and France is very important step in this regard. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are due to several factors mainly human activities. Implementation of global 17 goals and achieving 169 targets by 2030 for low-carbon smart resilient economy, and society require three things:
Huge Investment for clean, green technologies and growth
Strong Accountability and Monitoring Framework
Every Citizen Involvement for climate-smart development
We need multidisciplinary approach to tackle risks associated with climate change and for sustainable development. We need commitment from everyone to take actions at the individual, local, regional, and global level wherever appropriate. For this, we require Quality Education which is SDG Goal 4 to create awareness, capacity building, research, and development. Science and technology can function as interactive medium for learners, teachers, and facilitators to create meaningful content for enriched understanding of various concepts associated with the SDGs. Science with ICT provide impetus and development of rational thinking, data handling, problem solving, team-building, and communication skills to students which are required for SDGs understanding and 21st century living. We need to acquaint every citizen about risks associated with climate change and possible mitigation measures they can take and practice. With the help of digital technologies such as Big Data, Cloud and mobile communication, we can analyze data, patterns much quickly and disseminate information in an interactive and engaging way. Thus, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is crucial for SDGs awareness and success for All.
Science and technology have made important contributions to development but now need more participatory, community oriented accountability to shape Generation Z’s future with sustainability in mind. This way, students will have real-life experiential knowledge, soft, and management skills besides tackling local problems and may be employed locally with global perspectives. Students must imbibe responsibility, accountability, global citizenship, gender equality, values that can be address through creating progressive schools across community from elementary level. Community can provide real-life scenarios with digital learning science centers and methods such as science fair, exhibition, workshops, science-nature camp, magazine, film, activity kits, club, blogs, games, forums, and web-expression.
Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) Govt. of India adopted the vision 2035 derived from our former President Dr. Abdul Kalam for science to masses and sustainable development. But sustainable development requires participatory and inclusive approach to involve all stakeholders in particular its citizen in several stages of linkages. India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) provides emphasis on sustainable living to reduce carbon footprints, sustainable consumption and production and renewable energy by 2030. A significant proportion of India’s population is still below the poverty line and is vulnerable to climate change impacts. India accounts for 2.4% of the world surface area, but supports around 17.5% of the world population, 24% of the global population without access to electricity (304 million), about 30% of the global population relying on solid biomass for cooking and 92 million without access to safe drinking water needs better standard of life. We believe that young people can create awareness about sustainability and act as agents of change for mitigation, adaptation, knowledge sharing, “greenovation” for sustainable development and empowering the poor. Youth with campaigns for save water, energy, biodiversity, zero transport and waste can reverse carbon emission across sectors using low carbon-intensive lifestyles on a mass scale through sustainable living based on traditions, values of conservation and moderation for “Sustainable Consciousness”. Thus, science and technology motivate users to change their habits, track their behavior for Sustainable Future.