Sustainability issues are important in the outlook for Southeast Asian universities in 2024 for a number of reasons.
- Southeast Asia is a highly vulnerable region to climate change and other environmental challenges. The region is home to some of the world’s most populous and fastest-growing cities, which are often located in low-lying coastal areas and are at risk from rising sea levels, flooding, and storms. Southeast Asia is also a major producer of agricultural products, but climate change is threatening crop yields and water resources.
- Southeast Asia’s economic development is dependent on its natural resources. The region is a major exporter of minerals, oil, and gas, and its forests and oceans provide essential ecosystem services. However, unsustainable resource extraction and management practices are leading to deforestation, pollution, and biodiversity loss.
- Southeast Asia has a young and growing population. The region is home to over 660 million people, and more than half of the population is under the age of 30. This young population is a valuable asset, but it also puts pressure on resources and the environment.
Universities in Southeast Asia have a vital role to play in addressing these sustainability challenges. They can conduct research on climate change mitigation and adaptation, develop new technologies and sustainable practices, and educate the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.