HỘI AN — The ancient town of Hoi An, in co-operation with UNESCO, has launched the 2020 Plastic Action Day, boosting drastic activities in protecting the ocean and saying ‘No’ to single-use plastic products.
More than 300 young people joined the beach cleaning at Cửa Đại beach, bicycle parade and collecting waste at Cẩm Thanh nipa palm forest on Friday.
The event was held to mark the 21st anniversary of Hoi An’s recognition as a UNESCO world heritage site, and 11th year of the world biosphere Cham Islands-Hoi An site.
Speaking at the event, Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam said: “We know from the statistics so often cited that the ocean in 2050 may not be blue but grey and dark, with more plastic than fish – as humans now discard about 8 million metric tonnes of plastic are discarded into the ocean annually, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic every minute.
“We know here too in Viet Nam, with domestic consumption growing, more and more garbage reaches the ocean every year.
“The situation in Hoi An and Cham Islands itself is symbolic of the national situation, although authorities are very aware of the issue and doing their best, infrastructure and awareness has not kept up with the pace of waste.”
“The fight against waste is not just a matter for the government, but for all of the society. And we know that our best allies in society are the young people with their passion for change and their energy for action,” he added.
“That is why under the framework of the Youth and Innovation for Ocean Initiative, this Plastic Action Day event demonstrates UNESCO’s efforts to reduce plastic waste in Viet Nam by mobilising youth participation in an awareness-raising and action campaign, engaging the community to address plastic waste-related issues.”
The Youth and Innovation for Ocean Initiative, which was jointly organised by UNESCO, Cham Islands-Hoi An world biosphere reserve and the Man and the Biosphere Programme with funding from the Coca-Cola Foundation, has listed six initiatives for the final round on December 11.
The three best initiatives will be applied at the Cham Islands-Hoi An world biosphere reserve site in building the island as zero waste and non-plastic waste site in Viet Nam.
The islands are the only location in Viet Nam promoting successfully the non-use of plastic bags and the ‘3Rs’ (reduce, reuse and recycle) programmes since 2011.
The islands, which include eight islets with 3,000 inhabitants, are seen as the top site in Quảng Nam Province after the UNESCO-recognised world heritage of Hoi An ancient town and Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary. — VNS
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