As part of the United Nations International Youth Day, on 12 August 2016 the first Young Australians' Plan for the Planet Program was launched at Questacon in Canberra. This page provides a background on the program, how it operates, is evaluated, and the many opportunities moving forward.

Why the Young Persons' Plan for the Planet?

In 2016 the United Nations launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the framework to achieve worldwide sustainable development. The first pilot, the Young Australians' Plan for the Planet, provided an approach that enables promotion and delivery of these SDGs throughout Australia utilising an innovative national extracurricular schools program. The international pilot in Mauritius continues this development.

Why use the Plan for the Planet approach?

The Plan for the Planet approach was developed to leverage the effectiveness of business planning and management principles and practice to achieve sustainable outcomes at the local, regional and global levels.

Why a national schools program?

The Plan for the Planet approach has been adopted to promote and deliver the UN SDGs based on its integration of science, technology, mathematics and geography knowledge and focus on leveraging business management, leadership and teamwork principles and practice to develop and deliver local, regional and globally sustainable outcomes.

What does the Young Persons' Plan for the Planet Program involve?

The Australian pilot program operates as an extracurricular program involving 20 schools across Australia. Each school develops a sustainable development plan for their regional EcoZone to 2030. The schools then work to combine their individual EcoZone plans into a national sustainable development plan (Young Australians' Plan for the Planet) that was presented to Ministers in Canberra in August 2017. In 2018 this process was extended to Mauritius with 10 more high schools that have confirmed the growth and the success of the program internationally.

Who will be involved?

20 schools selected from across Australia and 10 in Mauritius, with one school representing each EcoZone, covering all major Australian and Mauritian cities and regional areas. Each school will select a minimum of twelve Years 9-10-11 students and three teachers to build their regional EcoZone plan and work with all other schools to integrate these regional plans into the National Plan.

Who are the key program advisors?

Supporting organisations include Questacon, Future Earth Australia, Inspiring Australia, the Australian National University (ANU), the University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the Foundation for Young Australians and UNIC in Canberra. Science centres and Institutes complement University support in Mauritius

When will the Young Persons' Plan for the Planet program take place?

The program launched 12 August 2016 at a Q&A Event at Questacon in Canberra as part of the United Nations International Youth Day. The program operating at each selected school from 28 November 2016 to 31 July 2017 in the first year. 2018 added Mauritian high schools progressing through March to August and culminating with an international conference there in November.

How is the program being evaluated?

Monitoring and evaluation methods from our university partners have been integrated throughout the program framework and will examine the effectiveness of the program in developing and achieving sustainable outcomes. Research and papers are part of this process to confirm its capacity and value.

How is the program being funded?

The pilot program is being funded through grants and support from Questacon (scope and program development); Inspiring Australia (website development); ANU (program and media support); and UNSW / UTS (research content development and evaluation). Additional corporate, government and community support is being developed to expand the program.

How will the program move beyond the pilot?

The program and website have been developed to be replicable and scalable beyond Australia, facilitating adoption by other countries. The potential outcome over a 4-year period is a global Plan for the Planet to achieve the successful delivery of the SDGs to 2030, and global sustainable development to 2050.

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