World Environment Day 2021 calls for urgent action to revive the damaged ecosystems.
Straw burning in a suburban district of Hanoi, which is one of serious factors causing environmental pollution in the capital city. Photo: VNA
Themed “Ecosystem Restoration”, World Environment Day 2021 focuses on highlighting the importance of preserving and developing natural ecosystems in order to sustain a healthy environment for people’s survival.
The World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 across the world annually to raise the public awareness about environmental protection and biodiversity conservation, and encourage the communities to take action to prevent the growing strain on Earth’s natural systems.
This year, the World Environment Day calls for urgent action to revive the damaged ecosystems, with Pakistan being the host country for the day.
The day will kick off the United Nations (UN) decade on ecosystem restoration (2021-2030), a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea.
Ecosystem restoration holds significance in a globalized world that has been witnessing rapid development at blinding speed. “As much as 50% of our coral reefs have already been lost and up to 90% of coral reefs could disappear by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5°C,” the UN has warned.
Moreover, the raging coronavirus disease pandemic has held a mirror on how debilitating the consequences of ecosystem loss can be. The shrinking area of natural habitat for animals has led to ideal conditions for pathogens, including coronaviruses, to spread, the UN has noted.
In Vietnam, multiple efforts have been made for the recovery of degraded and destroyed ecosystems as well as conserve those that are still intact, particularly in the Mekong Delta, the southern part of Vietnam and one of the world’s deltas most vulnerable to climate change.
Furthermore, Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has requested activities as part of the Action Month for the Environment to be organized in accordance with Covid-19 prevention and control regulations.
Across the country, slogans for this year’s action month include “The Earth needs us! Let’s unite against climate change”, “Let’s use utensils from recycled materials”, “Using green materials contributes to environmental protection”, and “Avoid environmental pollution from the use of pesticides, single-use plastics, and non-biodegradable plastic bags”.
Vietnam’s relevant authorities and citizens are required to strengthen control over waste collection, transportation and treatment, use natural resources efficiently, and focus resources on addressing environmental pollution, building a circular economy, and combating plastic waste.
Earlier, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched the “Youth for Climate Innovation Contest” in Hanoi on May 28.
The contest seeks breakthrough solutions and initiatives from young people around the country regarding environmental protection and climate change response. Vietnamese citizens aged from 16 to 35 are eligible to join the contest by signing up at https://bitly.com.vn/y238yy until July 25. Winners are expected to be announced in August.
UNDP Resident Representative for Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen said the contest is one of the ways to tap young people’s potential in stepping up climate change agendas, and expressed her hope that many entries will be submitted.
US President Joe Biden has sent a letter to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to thank the Vietnamese leader for his attendance at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the US at the end of April,