World Environment Day
Today is the World Environment Day. Let's take a look at Vietnam.
With its long coastline, large population in low-lying areas and fragile ecosystems, Vietnam is one of the most exposed countries to detrimental climate change effects, notably sea level rise, saline intrusion, loss of land and property, changing ecosystems and food insecurity.
In 2013, Luxembourg Cooperation started a climate collaboration with the central province of Thua Thien Hue, home to 1.13 million people and highly exposed to climate related hazards (including storms, floods, droughts in the dry season, coastal and river erosion and salinisation of soil and lagoon water). These hazards are increasing in frequency and intensity and are an ever-greater risk for the environment and for people’s lives and livelihoods.
Two climate change adaptation projects have, since then, been successfully implemented by supporting communities to build their resilience in order to better cope with the impacts of climate change and changing conditions for livelihood activities.
Collaborative climate action gave special attention to children. Thus, many targeted activities were designed to address children’s specific vulnerabilities and needs and to raise their awareness and understanding about climate change and environmental issues. Students enthusiastically participated in extracurricular environmental classes and trainings:
- in primary schools, painting competitions were organised, and thousands of grades 5-7 kids successfully completed survival swim classes, in a country where floods have become more severe and drowning is the number one cause of death for children;
- in secondary schools, many climate change contests were organised and Student Action Groups designed and implemented their own action programmes to help raise awareness and stimulate ‘green action’ in their communities.
Whereas awareness and knowledge in Vietnam may still be limited, young people have shown to be very keen to learn about climate change and the environment and get into action. Considering this is “the next generation”, that is quite encouraging.
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