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Writeshop: Model for Vietnamese youth to contribute to global climate response
Minh Vu 14:18, 2022/08/23
Collecting ideas of young people is one of Vietnam’s efforts to promote the engagement of stakeholders in the common drive against climate change.

Youth4Climate National Writeshop is one of the models marking the contribution of Vietnamese young people to solving the global climate issues which will be broadly addressed at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to take place in Egypt in November 2022.

 Young people at the Writeshop held by UNDP and the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (MONRE). Photos: UNDP

More than 20 young people from different provinces across Vietnam joined the Writeshop which is the latest partnership between the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (MONRE).

The three-day event concluded on August 20 and was attended by Prof. Tran Thuc, Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Committee on Climate Change, Dr. Tang The Cuong, Head of MONRE’s Department of Climate Change, national and UNDP experts.

The Writeshop, which gathers ideas raised by Vietnamese young people, one of the stakeholders in the joint efforts against climate change, took place in the context that nations around the world are preparing for COP27.

 Patrick Haverman, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Vietnam, delivers speech at the event. 

Patrick Haverman, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Vietnam, emphasized that the Government alone cannot win the race in response to climate change. They do need the support of the 'whole of society', including youth, who in Vietnam represents 23% of the population. “Youth is a powerhouse for innovation and action,” he said.

The common drive is aimed to provide answers to the dire warnings in the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), constituting a “code red for humanity” in the words of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

The indifference of stakeholders as usual will reverse any progress made toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and jeopardize the ability of future generations to live in a sustainable environment in the coming decades.

The Writeshop is one among a series of activities included together with the global youth climate movement launched in Vietnam, including MONRE and UNDP’s Global Climate Promise and the Youth4Climate Initiative published the first “Special Report on Youth and Climate Action” in 2021.

This Special Report, which was authored by a youth cohort in consultation with more than 1,000 young people, marks an important milestone for youth’s participation in national and global climate initiatives. As the Special Report was delivered to the president of the COP26, Alok Sharma, and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, it garnered the utmost political attention.

The Report describes the obstacles Vietnamese youth face in their climate action efforts. In addition, it identifies the accelerators with the potential to eliminate these bottlenecks. Through the Report, youth voices are heard, and many of their concepts are awarded and promoted through the recent Youth4Climate Innovation Contest.

Actions are also initiated and implemented, such as the Youth4Climate Learning Hub, which was the second prioritized accelerator to provide a virtual space for the youth and by the youth with accessible, reliable, and contextualized information on all climate-related aspects, including science, policies, and cross-sectoral actions.

 Tang The Cuong, Head of MONRE's Department of Climate Change, speaks at the event. 

Tang The Cuong, Head of MONRE's Department of Climate Change, urged young people to update information more thoroughly, citing practical examples of young people in regions and across the country.

“The report needs to be more comprehensive so that UNDP and MONRE can present it at the COP27 later this year. Young people must promote the role of being impulsive, dynamic, and creative at the forum on responding to climate change to collectively contribute to the response to climate change in Vietnam, strengthen cooperation with youth in the ASEAN region, and participate in global youth forums,” he said while providing recommendations of what young people must do to contribute to the development of policies to address climate change.

As part of cooperative efforts with the Government of Vietnam, UNDP is “determined to foster an enabling environment for young citizens to participate in the transition to a greener and cleaner future,” Patrick Haverman stated.

Prof. Tran Thuc, Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Committee on Climate Change, told The Hanoi Times that the ideas of young people are key ideas representing the voice of youth and marking their contributions to shaping the future roadmap for not only national but global climate response. 

Co-written by 20 young authors from diverse backgrounds, the report, which is part of the UNDP Global Climate Promise, addresses four major bottlenecks in undertaking climate action namely financial constraints, lack of support from stakeholders, skills limitations, and technological limitations.

To unblock these bottlenecks, the report recommends ten accelerators, which include establishing a youth network for climate and launching a climate learning hub. These accelerators were incorporated into a roadmap towards COP26 and action goals for the 2022-2025 period to enhance the contribution from the youth to Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Last year, before COP26 took place in Glasgow, the UK in November, Vietnamese youth submitted a Special Report entitled “Youth for Climate Action in Vietnam” which addressed bottlenecks that were incorporated into a roadmap for COP26.

 Prof. Tran Thuc, Vice Chairman of the Advisory Council of the National Committee on Climate Change, at the Writeshop.

In contributing to the national efforts for net-zero goals by 2050, Hanoi is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by changing models in transport. Using electric buses is part of its efforts to reduce GHG. This is a model highly appreciated by Alok Sharma, President for COP26 and a Minister for the Cabinet Office since 2021, during his visit to Vietnam in February 2022.

In addition, Hanoi's youth joined in the event to raise awareness of environmental protection among the community. For example, Let's Do It! A Hanoi project involves hundreds of volunteers of different ages with the aim of raising public awareness and calling for action for the capital's green environment.

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