“No eating, no illegal use of wild animals!”
Such is the message from students at the Con Cuong Ethnic Minority Boarding Secondary School in Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An.
|Students of the Con Cuong Ethnic Minority Boarding Secondary School in Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An say no to wild animals. Photos: EU in Vietnam|
The message includes not visiting restaurants or recreational complexes with illegal use of wild animals, protesting advertisements of illegal wildlife trade, reducing plastic waste, and planting more trees.
It’s part of activities in green education that the European Union (EU) has been supporting in Vietnam, including the EU Green Diplomacy Weeks 2023 held in October to promote biodiversity protection.
The educational campaign involved more than 380 students from the Con Cuong Ethnic Minority Boarding Secondary School, who came together to learn about the importance of the Pu Mat Forest in mitigating the impacts of climate change.
In a talk with The Hanoi Times, European Union Ambassador to Vietnam, Julien Guerrier, stressed the importance of biodiversity, saying it’s the foundation of ecosystems as it is providing clean air, water, and food as well as contributing to our overall well-being and helping combat climate change.
“When we preserve biodiversity, we ensure the balance and resilience of our natural systems,” Ambassador Guerrier reminded the students.
He said in remote areas, rich biodiversity is under threat because of various factors such as poaching, deforestation, and climate change, requiring the conservation of ecosystems.
According to the ambassador, the European Union has been actively engaged in Vietnam in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. They have been working closely with state agencies in Vietnam and local organizations in order to rescue and rehabilitate endangered species to ensure their survival for generations to come.
|European Union Ambassador to Vietnam Julien Guerrier.|
The EU Green Diplomacy Week is an opportunity to celebrate the success of these initiatives and to explore further innovative ways to protect biodiversity and the planet with the students and teachers becoming ambassadors for the planet.
“That you will help raise awareness among your fellow peers, your friends, your families, about the importance of biodiversity. It is essential that we involve young and bright people like you in these activities in order to promote sustainability, environmental, and climate awareness,” he stated.
“Each of our actions and decisions today will impact the world we live in tomorrow,” Ambassador Guerrier emphasized.
Located in the middle of the Annamite Range in Nghe An, about 350 km from Hanoi, Pu Mat National Park is one of the largest national parks in Vietnam and is home to more than 2,500 plant species and 1,000 animal species.
As part of the EU Green Diplomacy Weeks 2023, the educational campaign held in October seeks to raise awareness of the importance of protecting Pu Mat's rich biodiversity among students living closer to the forest's edge.
Organized as part of a region-wide series of activities to celebrate the EU Green Diplomacy Weeks in ASEAN, the ‘Proud of Pu Mat’ event was implemented by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife.
|EU Green Diplomacy Weeks receive wide response among students in Vietnam.|
Originally introduced to the public as Climate Diplomacy Weeks in 2019, this initiative has grown into a historic yearly occasion where discussions and collaboration on climate change are promoted by EU Delegations and embassies of EU member states across the globe. The event, which this year is now called “Green Diplomacy Weeks,” still seeks to act as a forum for exhibiting success stories and motivating more actions.
Vietnam ranks 16th globally in terms of biodiversity, with over 50,000 different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms found in the country’s rivers, mountains, forests, and seas.
Vietnam is listed as having the highest marine biodiversity in the world as well, with more than 11,000 marine species, according to the United Nations Development Fund’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative.
In spite of the fact that biodiversity directly benefits people and the environment and supports the country’s sustainable development strategy, Vietnam is rapidly losing its biodiversity as a result of population growth, overuse of natural resources, illegal logging, and the expansion and intensification of agriculture.
Preserving intact forests and wildlife habitats is critically important to maintain nature and all the ecosystem services that it provides for our well-being and for a sustainable future.