The environmental question : a key issue
Vietnam has undergone extraordinary economic transformations since the mid-1980s. Indeed, the government initiated a policy of renewal (“Doi moi”) in order to revitalize the country’s economic growth and facilitate the country’s opening on the international scene.
This economic reform had a major impact on the environment. Indeed, Vietnam is an actor and a victim of environmental degradation. The choice of this type of development based on exports and trade liberalization contribute to increase external demands on natural resources.
The spirit of industrial expansion and increasing regional and global consumption is transforming several regions; Vietnam is currently in a state of environmental crisis.
Environmental pollution and climate change are a major challenge for Vietnam : Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world most affected by the consequences of climate change.
Aware of this reality, the Vietnamese government has ratified the Law on Environmental Protection with Vietnam’s gouvernement commitment to respect these international commitments and its responsibilities in terms of environmental protection.
Despite these measures to ensure environmental protection, these responses seem insufficient in view of the scale of this issue ! The lack of infrastructure in terms of waste management, recycling of waste water and the lack of awareness on the part of the populations do not make it possible to leave this vicious circle
Through this article we will see how Vietnam has taken the measure of this issue.
Solution : the role of civil society
Starting from the premise that environmental policies prove unsuccessful and the lack of knowledge of environmental issues of some Vietnamese people inexorably accelerates the process of degradation : it seems fundamental to find alternatives to ensure the sustainability of the country.
Vietnam’s salvation lies in civil society. Indeed, awareness is the key to making people aware of the causal link between their daily practices and environmental degradation.
The emergence of NGOs and associations is constantly progressing in the country, the aim is to create a network of associations in order to have a strong enough voice to fight against this scourge (plastic, soil erosion, soil impoverishment, global warming).
Civil society is a major actor in this struggle, these associations find viable solutions and adopt a sustainable development.
One project in particular holds our attention, the GRASS ROOTS NETWORK project !
We will see the ambitious project of this association to illustrate the importance of the role of civil society !
Grass Roots Network
Grass Roots Network was created in 2017, originally as a website for sharing environmental projects for students. At the beginnnig this association was composed of 5 schools in Ho Chi Minh ((Saigon South International School, International School of Ho Chi Minh City, Canadian International School, Bristish International School, Australian International School). However their subscriber network has since grown to include student leaders from 10 schools in Vietnam and the South East Asia region. Actually they are forming a network of support and action to ensure responsibility for the waste generated by their schools but also to promote a true responsible citizenship.
This ambitious project was born on a simple observation : the massive production of plastic waste that represents the functioning of a school (from the cafeteria to the classroom and school events). Making the most out of their education and taking on the mantle of conscientious global citizens, students decided to actively take responsibility for their ecological footprint.
This desire is reflected into facts. First, by the mobilization of passionate students to act, but also by the upcoming creation of a Zero Waste guide with the purpose of gradually eliminating single-use plastics at school. This guide will present specific alternative products, services and methods to replace each source of plastic waste in schools.
This network of student clubs is growing fast and includes many projects. Futhermore, the association organized in Autumn a Grass Roots Youth Summit with each student leaders from HCMC’s environmental clubs. They will converge to discuss in order to find concrete implementation goals for the 2018-19 school year.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT :)))
Although they have won many partners, mentors and allies in this struggle, they hope to ensure the long-term momentum of the Grass Roots movement by increasing their influence nationally and even internationally (new official partnership with the Global Issues Network).
Their long-term vision is to bring all environmental clubs in schools (public and international) as Grass Roots members and to integrate the mentality of collaboration, project sharing and support into the heart of student clubs to act most effectively as a student movement.
(I strongly invite you to visit their website to discover and support all projects).
Link to the site below : https://www.grassrootsvietnam.org/
Here is a short video presenting their project:
Plastic pollution and environmental protection have become key issues in Vietnam and around the world.
It seemed essential that the Vietnamese government become aware of this issue. Despite this awareness, the efforts and the law on environmental protection ratified by the Vietnamese government, these responses do not seem to be sufficient enough in view of the scale of this struggle. However with the help of NGOs/associations through awareness raising and the creation of environmental action make more sustainable development possible and seem to pave the way towards a significant reduction of environmental pollution.
Direct imex really wanted to highlight this amazing project of young students and would like to say thank you to all the members of Grass Roots Network for their struggle against this scourge.
Direct Imex team thanks you for this reading and remains at your disposal for further explanations… 😊
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