Many would agree achieving environmental sustainability is the biggest challenge facing Vietnam. A changing world needs a new way of thinking and living and if the young enthusiastic crowd that gathered on Dong Da Hill for the Hanoi Green Festival on Sunday, September 18, 2010 are any indication, the future of Vietnam is bright!
The Hanoi Green Festival felt like a party with a difference. The festival involved some amazing dancing, and singing but the main event was a competition for the best answers to some pressing environmental questions. The themes of this year’s festival are sustainable transport, stopping the use of plastic bags, conserving energy and water and limiting each individuals carbon footprint in everyday lifein other words, sustainable living.
All the students involved spoke extremely well and had good ideas for achieving sustainability and plenty of enthusiasm for making a difference in the world. The beautiful Miss Vietnam was there to judge along with a panel of experts who challenged the students with questions like “how can you convince your family, friends and community to take part in sustainable practices” and “can you explain why sustainable living is not just a trend but very important for us all”. It was refreshing to see the students so eager for change and not only understanding the big environmental issues but talking about how they and their community can realistically change to a more sustainable way of living.
As Miss Vietnam presented prizes to the winners there were plenty of games to play and dancing to be done (a Michael Jackson look alike even made a guest appearance). All in all, the Green Festival day was a great success and continued all week with a ‘Green Race’ and Gala event. It’s sure to spread the message that sustainable living is possible, sustainable living is needed now, and the young generation of Vietnam are ready for the challenge.
Green Festival Day is one of the events in the Green Days: For a Green Millennium. This is an initiative of Center of Support for Combating Climate Change (SCCC) and Action for the City (ACCD) and organizing partners GeennoCom, Live and Learn, Health Bridge Canada and C & E to encourage people to change behaviour and promote sustainable lifestyle. The series of events was held September 19-25, 2010 in Hanoi with supporting activities in HCMC, Da Nang, and Hoi An.
Providing support to this event, IUCN has further extended its activities to the local NGOs to further encourage the participation of civil society especially with young people in the environment protection in Vietnam.