67% of the world’s population believes that the biggest problem is climate change

04/04/2021 at 9:05 AM CEST

How do you see the world in 2030? What are the main concerns for the future and what are the solutions that would make it possible to face them? To know the opinion of the citizens, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched a survey a few months ago that obtained responses from more than 15,000 people around the world.

The results of the consultation are now available and have begun to redirect the reflections of the UN agency to ensure that its programs respond over the next decade to the real needs of citizens around the world.

67 percent of the citizens who participated in the consultation consider that the most important challenge facing humanity is climate change and the consequent loss of biodiversity, even above issues such as discrimination, violence or health.

Global warming is a universal concern for those not living under conflict or war, and it is so for both men and women, and for both youth and adults, regardless of the region in which they reside, as reflected in the responses.

On a positive note, he highlights that international awareness of the threats posed by climate change is “higher than ever & rdquor ;. And also that in the face of crises looming on a global, regional and local scale, international cooperation will be “vital to stop current trends,” says UNESCO.

“People are more concerned about the increase in natural disasters and extreme weather, the loss of biodiversity, the risk of conflict or violence, the impacts on the oceans and, what is more serious, they have less and less hope that the problem can be solved & rdquor ;, indicates this international organization.

“At a time of massive disruption related to the covid-19 pandemic, our goal was to listen to the challenges faced by people around the world, and they have told us loud and clear. Our programs to address climate change, reduce violence and promote equality, especially through education, are of the utmost importance, ”said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General.

“However, greater efforts are needed to address the specific concerns of the people and multilateralism is the way to do it. Restoring confidence in multilateralism requires implementing concrete and impactful projects, and this is at the core of our organization’s role & rdquor ;, adds Azoulay.

How to tackle the challenges? The participants in this unprecedented global study are committed to investing in green solutions, education, international cooperation and promoting trust in science.

“These results indicate that UNESCO’s work on climate change and biodiversity, as well as disaster risk reduction, education for sustainable development, ocean health and open science are valuable tools in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss & rdquor ;, concludes the report resulting from the survey.

Violence and wars, second problem

After the concern about the future of the climate and biodiversity, there were concerns such as violence and armed conflict (selected by 44 percent of the participants); discrimination and inequality (elected by 43 percent); or the shortage of food, water and housing, which worries 42 percent.

Education in its various forms stands out as a crucial solution, with calls for the teaching of peace, non-violence, cultural tolerance, human rights, science and technology. And while participants overwhelmingly (95 percent) praised the importance of global cooperation, only 25 percent believe it will solve the planet’s problems.

Respondents – of all ages – demanded, in addition to global cooperation, legal frameworks against violence and hate speech; support for technological solutions and associations that work against poverty, and promotion of gender equality and respect for all cultures.

The relationship between human beings and nature, together with scientific cooperation and the exchange of research, appear in the responses as important areas of society that must be rethought in view of the incidence of covid-19.

In fact, many problems increased during the pandemic are also reflected in the concerns of those consulted about health and disease, misinformation and freedom of expression, the lack of decent work and opportunities, and political participation and democratic principles.

The reliability of information and the deliberate spread of falsehoods, poor leadership, corruption and lack of political accountability, attacks on the media, inadequate educational systems, inequality in the labor market, and the global decline in employment. democracy are other prominent concerns around the world.

In addition to those noted above, proposed solutions include support for quality journalism and fact-checking, and legal frameworks and heavy penalties for the spread of disinformation.

The survey was conducted between May and September 2020, through an open questionnaire on the internet, in more than 25 languages, and reflects the unease of many young people: 57 percent of those surveyed were under 35 years old, and 35 percent under 25.

This global public research, entitled ‘The world in 2030’, was launched as part of the so-called ‘Strategic Transformation of UNESCO’ to address current problems, considering that the next decade will be crucial to restore confidence in cooperation international and put in place the necessary mechanisms to respond effectively to the main challenges of the contemporary world.

Other major challenges noted by respondents:

–Violence and conflict: Consultation participants are concerned about radicalization and terrorism, the risk of global conflicts and nuclear weapons, and violence against minorities and vulnerable groups. Violence against women and girls ranked fourth globally, but was the main concern of respondents in Latin America.

–Discrimination and inequalityTop concerns include violence against women and minorities, the rise of hate speech and harassment online, and discrimination against women and LGBT people. Almost four in ten (38 percent) believe that cross-cultural or religious tensions are worsening.

–Lack of food, water and housing: The main concern in this section by far is the lack of clean water, but respondents are also concerned about the impact of natural disasters and the lack of healthy or good quality food.

The UNESCO survey results report (in English): https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000375950.locale=en

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