Joining hands to reduce plastic waste for blue Ha Long Bay

11:11 | 30/12/2020 Environment

On December 29, the Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD) collaborated with its partners to organize an event series, including the final workshop for project “Lessons learnt from demonstrated Municipal Plastic Waste Management in World Heritage Ha Long Bay, Vietnam", and the awards ceremony of the contest “Joining hands to reduce plastic waste for blue Ha Long Bay”.

joining hands to reduce plastic waste for blue ha long bay
Sponsors and 15 teams joined the final round

The event series aimed to synthesize the project activities and results, and to share with the stakeholders the lessons learned from the implementation of the project, in which the contest results and awards for the most outstanding entries were tributed. Attending the event were delegates from Hanoi, including representatives from donors USAID/DIG and Dow Vietnam, project principal implementer MCD and other environmental organizations, and over 80 delegates from Ha Long City and Quang Ninh province, including: the People’s Committee of Ha Long city, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Quang Ninh province, Division of Natural Resources and Environment of Ha Long City, the Division of Education and Training of Ha Long city, Ha Long City’s Youth Union and Women Union, Ha Long Bay Management Board, Public Utilities Management Board of Ha Long City, Management Board of Ha Long 1 Market; representative leaders, officials, unions and community groups of Bach Dang, Hong Hai and Hong Gai Wards; Representatives of various professional associations in Quang Ninh province, including: Quang Ninh Fisheries Society and the Farmers’ Union, Ha Long Cruise Lines Association, Ha Long Association for Environmental Education and Protection; Business representatives from Phuc Thanh Company, JUDENCO and waste recycling facilities; Community group representatives from recyclable waste collection groups, small businesses, service units, fishing boat households, owners of the initiatives on reusing and recycling plastic waste; 15 group and individual finalists of the contest; and reporters from various media agencies.

The project "Lessons learnt from demonstrated Municipal Plastic Waste Management in World Heritage Ha Long Bay, Vietnam" was funded by USAID through the MWRP program managed by DIG and implemented by MCD in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh province from 2018 to December 31, 2020. It aimed to improve efficiency in collection, sorting and treatment of waste in the coastal areas of Ha Long Bay, thereby reducing plastic waste marine pollution in the World Heritage Ha Long Bay. At the final workshop, MCD and the core stakeholders’ groups reported on the implementation of the project activities and shared the results and lessons learned from the execution of the project, with focus on the public - private - people partnership (4P) model. The project has achieved outstanding results and overmet its original targets, with about 500 tons of plastic waste collected, sorted and treated thanks to the project's initiatives and solutions; over 111,000 people directly participated in project activities, of which 62.92 percent are female; more than 2,500,000 people gained access to the information and knowledge related to the project and the implemented activities; nearly 1,600 people benefited from capacity building through training, dialogue and technical assistance activities on solid waste and plastic waste management; 15 agencies and units coordinated in the implementation of the project to improve the efficiency of the process of waste collection, sorting and treatment in the coastal areas of Ha Long Bay.

At the workshop, the delegates discussed, exchanged and reached consensus on the coordination among the parties to promote and replicate the project's methodologies, outcomes and lessons learned in improving efficiency of waste collection, sorting and treatment in the coastal area of Ha Long Bay.

Ms. Ho Thi Yen Thu, Standing Deputy Director of MCD, remarked, “The MCD made great efforts to implement a pilot model of municipal plastic waste management in the coastal area of ​​Ha Long Bay, applying an integrated approach that promotes public-private-people partnerships, in which the MCD played the roles of technical and governance asssitance provider, connector and facilitator. Today, the MCD is very delighted that the model was successful in reducing plastic waste pollution in the coastal area of ​​Ha Long Bay, thereby contributing to environmental protection and conservation of the ecosystem in this World Heritage, towards sustainable development of the coastal communities. MCD appreciates the wholehearted cooperation, support and assistance from the People's Committee of Quang Ninh Province, the People's Committee of Ha Long City, the Division of Natural Resources and Environment and other agencies, local communities and donor partners during the project implementation”.

joining hands to reduce plastic waste for blue ha long bay
Recycled products from plastic waste at the exhibition

Within the framework of the project, in order to enhance the community's awareness and understanding about marine plastic waste pollution and to promote and spread relevant initiatives to reduce plastic waste and protect the environment of Ha Long Bay, with the strong support of Dow Vietnam in the “Youth led initiatives to empower coastal communities for reducing plastic pollution in Ha Long Bay”, the contest “Joining hands to reduce plastic waste for blue Ha Long Bay” was launched on October 15, 2020 and attracted 158 candidates within a month, of which 64 candidates were shortlisted from the preliminary round and publicized on the contest homepage. The 15 most outstanding initiatives were selected for the final round and honored at the Awards Ceremony. The ceremony announced and awarded the winners of the contest as follows:

01 first prize awared to the Youth Union of Tran Quoc Toan Primary School - Ha Long City with the initiative of "Current state and solutions to reduce plastic waste in general and Ha Long Bay in particular";

03 second prizes awared to Tran Thi Thu Huong with the initiative of "Greenlife Ha Long - Recycled and reused products from plastic waste"; Nguyen Thi Huyen Trang with the initiative of "Improved collection and sorting of waste at source to minimize the waste generation in household activities, production, business, and services and to prevent ocean dumping"; and Hoang Trong Nghia with the initiative of "The smart trash";

03 third prizes awared to the Blue Ha Khau group with the initiative of "Beautiful flowers on the table "; The Creative club group with the initiative of “Plastic Recycling”; and Nguyen Ha My with the initiative of "Changing Ha Long high school students’ behavior on plastic waste towards a blue lifestyle";

In addition to the official prizes, other extra prizes were also awarded, including: Impressive Communication Award went to the Ha Long Yellow Bream group with the initiative of " Ha Long yellow bream - turning plastic waste into money"; The Creative Art award was given to the Green Van Lang group with the initiative of "Garbage planet – shadow art"; and the Popular Application award went to the Women's Association of Quarter 5, Hong Hai Ward with the initiative of "Eco-friendly brooms”.

Mr. Ekkasit Lakkananithiphan, President of Dow Vietnam, said, “Dow is strongly committed to ending plastics waste in the ocean by finding the innovative solutions to turn plastics waste into new applications, awareness enhancement and people’s behavior change for circular economy, plastics waste segregation, reuse and recycle. In order to make it happen, Dow has been closely collaborating with the government, local authorities and other related partners to organize many environmental protection events for all stakeholders to raise awareness and to find better solutions for environmental protection. We believe that if all waste is sorted, collected and recycled in the right way, the environment will be better."

Mr. Tran Ngoc The, Deputy Head of Ha Long Division of Natural Resources and Environment, shared, “The project “Lessons learnt from demonstrated Municipal Plastic Waste Management in World Heritage Ha Long Bay, Vietnam" and the contest “Joining hands to reduce plastic waste for blue Ha Long Bay” greatly contributed to raising public attention to and awareness of the issues and solutions of plastic marine waste pollution in Ha Long. We hope that in the future there will be more opportunities to cooperate with MCD and donor partners in other environment projects for a forever-blue and sustainable Ha Long Bay”.

On the same day, MCD collaborated with the Women’s Union of Ha Long city to organize the event "Exhibitive festival of recycled and reused products from plastic waste" to showcase the community’s initiatives on reusing and recycling plastic waste. This activity, together with the contest “Joining hands to reduce plastic waste for blue Ha Long Bay”, was supported by the “Youth led initiatives to empower coastal communities for reducing plastic pollution in Ha Long Bay”, sponsored by Dow Vietnam. Attending this event were delegates from Ha Long city, including the leaders and officials of the Women’s Union, Division of Natural Resources and Environment, Division of Education and Training, and Youth Union, together with over 200 members of the Women’s Union. The event was also attended by the donor representatives from USAID/DIG and Dow Vietnam.

PV