In the morning of December 4, 2020, at Cua Dai beach, Hoi An city, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in coordination with the Management Board of the Cu Lao Cham – Hoi An World Biosphere Reserve - Hoi An organized the "Youth Action for the Ocean" event.

This event is part of the series of activities of the “Youth Innovation for Ocean Initiative” launched by UNESCO with the cooperation of the Coca-Cola Foundation to increase participation of youth, community and stakeholders in raising awareness, calling for and spreading actions related to the reduction of plastic waste and environmental protection in the Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An World Biosphere Reserve.

Nearly 300 delegates attending the event were from UNESCO Hanoi Office; National Committee for Man and Biosphere Program; representatives of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Quang Nam province; representatives of agencies, departments, unions, communes/wards, and a large number of youth union members in the area of Hoi An city; university students in Quang Nam and Da Nang. In particular, Mr. Michael Croft – UNESCO Representative to Vietnam and Mr. Le Choi - Deputy Secretary of Hoi An Party Committee were present.

Fig 1,2: The scene of the launching ceremony

Speaking at the event launching ceremony, Mr. Nguyen Minh Ly - Vice Chairman of Hoi An City People's Committee said that this is a very meaningful event to raise awareness of the community and stakeholders in environmental protection, especially the role of the youth. The representative of the city leaders also asked the departments, localities and people to take practical actions to reduce plastic waste, preserve the marine environment and landscape, and fulfill a strong commitment to building Cu Lao Cham to become a zero-waste Island by 2025, contributing to building Hoi An an ecological – cultural and touristy city.

Fig 3: Mr Nguyen Minh Ly – Vice Chairman of Hoi An City People's Committee spoke at the event

Also at the launching ceremony, Mr. Michael Croft highly appreciated the efforts of Hoi An city in environmental protection, conservation and promotion of the values of the Biosphere Reserve. The UNESCO Representative to Vietnam hopes that the efforts of everyone today will bring about a true green color of forests and sea, give the opportunity to enjoy good things and the responsibility to preserve it for future generations.

Fig 4: Mr Michael Croft – UNESCO representative to Vietnam spoke at the event

As a promise of the Youth of the city, Mr. Ho Kha - Secretary of Hoi An Youth Union, representing the youth force also spoke in response to the event with a strong determination in calling and mobilizing the youth to respond and effectively implement the work of environmental protection, reduce plastic waste, consider it as protecting life, promoting sustainable development of the homeland.

After the launching ceremony, delegates and youth union members participated in cleaning up Cua Dai beach, collecting rubbish on the river at Cam Thanh Nipa Palm forest and making a bicycle parade on the main roads of the city. Through the practice of cleaning the beach and collecting rubbish on the river, we realized that the amount of waste in nature, especially plastic waste: plastic bags, foam boxes, fishing nets, floating foam buoys accounted for a very large proportion. In the future, practical solutions will be needed to solve this problem. This is the objective of the program, providing opportunities for the youth and young scientists to find and realize their ideas and creations to contribute to cleaning the ocean, building a circular economy, meeting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations./.

Fig 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13: Delegates and Youth participating on some activities after the event.

Thùy Hương

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