On August 26, 2022, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Vietnam and the Farmers’ Association of Quang Ninh province held a workshop on “Join hands for a plastic waste-free Ha Long” to raise awareness about ocean plastic waste, promote actions to reduce and prevent single-use plastic in Ha Long Bay.
In the discussion amid the workshop “Join hands for a plastic waste-free Ha Long”, the panelists brought an overview of marine environment protection.
Quang Ninh is famous for being endowed with rich natural resources, diverse landscapes with beautiful marine and island environments, and is the number one priority choice of both domestic and international tourists.
However, according to the estimation of the EPPIC Challenge 2020, the Ha Long Bay area has 28,283 tons of plastic waste generated each year, of which about 5,272 tons of plastic waste can be leaked into the ocean; Every day, 34 tons of waste are generated from tourism activities. In addition to causing water pollution, and degradation of ecosystems, floating plastic waste also affects the tourist landscape of the heritage site.
Environmental protection is not only the responsibility of ministries, departments, or any level of government and social organizations, but it also needs the participation of the whole political system, the whole society, businesses, the community, and most importantly the actions of each citizen.
In particular, the tourism industry plays a huge role in protecting the marine environment, with many cruise ships operating on the seas and islands here.
To minimize the negative effects of plastic waste, a synchronous system of solutions is needed. Therefore, in the seminar “Joining hands for a Ha Long without plastic waste”, the guests brought an overview of marine environment protection; indicate the role of each organization in the common mission towards sustainable tourism; share policies and activities that have been implemented locally to reduce the harm from cruise ships to the environment, especially timely solutions in reducing single-use plastic waste.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Patrick Haverman, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Vietnam, said that the event is an opportunity to support and advocate for the use of environmentally friendly products and alternative products. for single-use plastic, especially a product from the EPPIC contest that we can bring to you for reference. We understand the hardest thing about ending single-use plastic is finding a good, convenient and affordable alternative.”
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Vietnam added that, by acting in the right direction, Ha Long in particular and Vietnam in general can change and shift its position from being one of the hotspots of pollution. plastic, becoming one of the leading countries in making changes to prevent plastic waste. Now is the time to act. UNDP will continue to accompany and support these works, towards a green and clean environment.
Ferry owners make a commitment not to use single-use plastic products in service activities on Ha Long Bay.
Also at the event, Mr. Nguyen Van Duong, Vice Chairman of the Farmers’ Association of Quang Ninh province shared, the project “Building a model of community to manage, classify, collect and treat plastic waste in coastal areas of Ha Bay. Long” funded by the United Nations Development Program, the Global Environment Facility and the Norwegian Government, has been implemented since the beginning of 2020. Over the past two years, the project has contributed to creating positive change. awareness and capacity of integrated management of domestic waste and plastic waste in coastal areas of government officials, businesses as well as local people.
Mr. Dao Manh Luong, President of Ha Long Ferries Association said: Although tourism brings a lot of benefits to businesses, it also brings many harms to the environment. And now we are moving towards sustainable tourism that both benefits local people and protects the environment.
We will need to promote more and spread more to raise people’s awareness. Our ferries association is committed to not use disposable plastic products in tourism service activities on Ha Long Bay, contributing to improving the quality and image of Ha Long tourism.
The association is also a pioneer in participating in the “Green Sails” whereby all ship owners must set sustainable tourism criteria. Currently, we have more than 60 units engaged in waste sorting.
At the seminar, UNDP in Vietnam also introduced to everyone the application “Trash Hunt” (http://sanrac.undp.org.vn) – a mobile application used to report and monitor ungoverned landfills. Users can take photos and record information on the application about illegal landfills on the “Trash Hunt” map, thereby helping local authorities, stakeholders and people to handle them in a timely manner.
News and Photos: Lao Dong Thu Do News and Xay Dung News