HA NOI (VNS) — Awards were granted to 17 groups of students as part of the Youth for Wildlife Protection Competition by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on Thursday at a meeting organised in response to the International Day for Biological Diversity.
The meeting was held in Ha Noi and welcomed the attendance of 300 participants, including 150 students.
Among the 17 winners, youngsters from the Dong Nai-based Action for Wildlife Volunteer Club won a special prize worth VND10 million (US$470) for a video clip titled: Is it true that wildlife has magical medical properties?
Nguyen Duy Khoai from Da Nang won first prize, worth VND5 million ($290), for his song For the Survival of Wildlife.
The competition was a joint initiative organized by the ministry's Viet Nam Environment Administration and the HCM Communist Youth Union, aiming to raise public awareness, especially among youngsters, of wildlife protection, by encouraging them to create messages using video clips or art.
Nguyen Phi Long, permanent vice chairman of the Viet Nam United Youth League, said at the meeting: "We were very impressed by the quality and creativity of the entries in the competition."
The winning entries would play an important role in campaigns used by the youth union to continue raising public awareness of wildlife protection, he said.
The messages were created by the youngsters with the aim of building a young generation that cared about sustainable development of national biodiversity resources, he said.
Anjali Acharya, a senior environmental specialist at the World Bank, said that it was very encouraging to see such a strong response from young Vietnamese students to wildlife protection efforts.
We believed that young people could make a valuable contribution to motivating behavioural change for biodiversity conservation, she said.
In a related move, the meeting also announced results of a recent survey conducted by the Union for Ethical Biotrade, in partnership with Helvetas Swiss Interco-operation Viet Nam and Biodiversity Conservation Agency.
This is the first time Viet Nam has participated in the global survey to measure public awareness of biodiversity, and around 1,000 Vietnamese consumers aged 18-50 took part.
The survey's results said that although Vietnamese consumers had a high level of biodiversity awareness, there was still a lack of understanding.
According to the survey, 55 per cent believed that it was essential to personally contribute to biodiversity.
Speaking at the meeting, deputy minister Bui Cach Tuyen said that unsustainable consumption of endangered wildlife species was one of the most critical issues facing biodiversity in Viet Nam.
Protecting endangered wildlife species was the focus of this year's International Day for Biological Diversity. — VNS