UNESCO programme calls for youth initiatives for plastic-free oceans
UNESCO and The Coca Cola Foundation launched a project themed “Youth Initiative Ideas for an Ocean without Plastic 2022” at a ceremony in Hanoi on August 10 in response to World Youth Day (August 12).
The project is being implemented within the framework of the “Youth and Innovation for Ocean” project launched in 2020. Lasting from August this year to July 2023, it aims to support and empower young people as key change makers for the sustainable future of the seas.
It encourages young people to develop creative ideas, solutions with high practical application, and apply science and technology focusing on the fields of collection, classification, reduction, treatment, recycling, and reuse of plastic waste, especially single-use plastics.
Winning ideas and solutions are expected to be piloted in the Cat Ba Archipelago World Biosphere Reserve in Hai Phong from June 2023 with a possibility to be replicated throughout the northern port city.
Groups of Vietnamese youngsters aged 18-35 are eligible to participate in the project.
Speaking at the ceremony, UNESCO representative in Vietnam Christian Manhart said UNESCO recognises the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to prevent, control, and respond to challenges from ocean pollution through a series of legal provisions, including the 2020 revised law on environmental protection and the strategy for sustainable development of the maritime economy.
He highlighted the need for these regulations to be quickly implemented. We have about 30 years to save the oceans, he said, citing a warning from a recent report by the UN Environment Programme.
The official affirmed Vietnamese youths are ambassadors for change in the nation’s future. More than 100 young people from 27 universities across Vietnam are joining hands to develop 25 related creative ideas and approximately 1 million people are participating in different youth-led marine protection activities run by UNESCO.