The program, within the framework of the Youth and Innovation 4 Ocean Initiative implemented by UNESCO in partnership with the Coca Cola Foundation, aims to promote the key role of youth in the sustainable development of Vietnam.

About 8 million metric tons of plastic are discarded into the ocean annually with a significant amount originating in Asia, including Vietnam, UNESCO said. At this rate, by 2050, the ocean is on track to contain more plastic than fish.

A landfill in Cu Lao Cham

It is with this in mind that UNESCO is launching the Youth Innovative Ideas for an Ocean without Plastic Program to provide training and mentoring to groups of youth and young professionals to empower them to use their creative energy and talent to develop solutions in the areas of collecting, sorting, treating, recycling and reusing of plastic waste.

Through the program, young people will have the opportunity to propose ideas, receive trainings by experts, acquire on-field implementation experience and receive financial and technical support to implement their initiatives at the Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An World Biosphere Reserve, as well as to participate in other related national and regional initiatives of the Organization.

Awards include three first prizes valued at VND 70 million (about USD 3,000) which will support the implementation of ideas, and three runner-up prizes valued at VND 10 million.

The program will engage youth and young professionals aged between 18-30 across Vietnam. Candidates can be formed in groups of up to five people, and gender equality will be a key consideration.

Application forms and ideas should be submitted via the link before 25 August 2020.

The results of the competition will be announced in mid-September 2020, and the Mentoring Program at the Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An World Biosphere Reserve is foreseen for the end of September 2020 with the final round to be held in Hanoi in November 2020.

The Youth Innovative Ideas for an Ocean without Plastic Program is under the framework of the Youth and Innovation for Ocean Initiative carried out by UNESCO, in partnership with Coca Cola Foundation.

It links to the Organization’s Regional Plastic Initiative, which aims to support innovative and practical solutions contributing to build a circular economy and towards the sustainable development of the ocean.

Source: VNA