UNESCO has launched the “Youth and Innovation for Ocean” initiative to promote the role of young people and young scientists in putting forward innovative and practical solutions to reducing, reusing, recycling,
and managing plastic waste in coastal regions of Vietnam.
The initiative is under a partnership between UNESCO and the Coca-Cola Foundation established in 2017 and identifying solutions to managing plastic waste towards a sustainable green economy in Vietnam.
Young talents will be provided with technical support from leading experts through mentorship schemes. The top proposals received from this will be tested at UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, specifically the Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An Biosphere Reserve, in the 2020 programme, through providing financial support for the implementation of the most innovative ideas.
The initiative will also introduce the Youth and Young Professionals on Innovation, Science and Technology Platform for Resiliency (U-INSPIRE) as a national hub for supporting knowledge sharing and innovative ideas from young Vietnamese to address environmental and development issues in the country.
This initiative reflects UNESCO’s strong commitment to helping Vietnam maintain a healthy and sustainable ocean off its coastline, contributing to both the National Strategy on the Sustainable Marine Economy to 2030 and vision to 2045 as well as the National Action Plan for the Management of Marine Plastic Litter to 2030.
“Youth and Innovation for Oceans” builds upon the success of the previous “Art for Recycling” initiative in 2019. It also reflects the desire of both UNESCO and the Coca-Cola Foundation to support young people as key change agents for sustainable development.
About 8 million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the world’s oceans annually, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic every minute. In Vietnam alone, where levels of domestic waste are growing rapidly, the United Nations Environment Programme reports that up to 730,000 tonnes of garbage, most of which originates inland, reaches the ocean each year./.VNA