04/30/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/30/2021 05:16
More than 135 junior and high school students (including 107 female students) from countries across Southeast Asia participated in the online celebration of Earth Day and Girls in ICT Day's 10th anniversary on 22 April 2021. The students learned about environmental sustainability, the importance of the STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), the necessity to possess basic digital skills in an ICT-led (Information and Communication Technology) workplace and daily life. They also learned about sustainable lifestyle options such as sustainable fashion alternatives with eco-print, natural dye technique, and natural-based fibre fabrics.
Dr Cristina Romera Castillo, the 2020 L'Oréal - UNESCO International Rising Talent, spoke at the event, stressing actions that we can do together to address the plastic waste issue in the ocean. The ocean condition has worsened with the waste produced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as single-use masks and packaging for sanitary reasons.
During a mini talk show, Dr Ai Sugiura, Programme Specialist for Science Policy and Capacity Building at UNESCO Jakarta, called for adopting sustainable actions to tackle global issues and contribute to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr Mohamad Fikri, the representative from Fondation L'Oréal Indonesia, promoted L'Oréal's science programme and encouraged the students to participate in their green initiatives. He took note that L'Oréal has worked together with UNESCO for more than 20 years to help women in science solve the great challenges facing humanity, including the environmental issue around the world.
Ms Jasmine Tang from Empire Code Loves Back identified the importance of digital platforms to promote a sustainable lifestyle. She highlighted the significance of digital skills for students to open many future pathways. She also offered free access to Loves Back's learning platform to registered participants until 31 May 2021. Mr Puthut Ardianto, the chair of the Association of Indonesian Eco-Printers (AEPI), shared how eco-printed, natural-dyed, or natural-based fabrics were a more environmentally friendly alternative for a sustainable fashion. AEPI, the association for eco-printers in Indonesia that counts more than a thousand members across Indonesia, was launched during this event.
The important take-home messages during the event were:
At the end of the event, UNESCO also invited students to participate in the Short-Silent Video Competition on Sustainable Environment during COVID-19 Pandemic.
Dr Hans Thulstrup, Officer in Charge UNESCO Jakarta, closed the event by reiterating the message that 'Science' or 'science-based methodologies' are simply a systematic way of seeking to understand nature and a way to answer questions about our environment - not something to be scared of.
This online celebration and the competition calls for contribution to the acceleration of 2030 Agenda implementation in Asia and the Pacific, especially on SDG 4, SDG 9, and SDG 13.