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Urban youth turn out for foreign-run conservation competitions

Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy (L) displays her award-winning photo at the British Council's "How Green Is Your City?" photography contest

Nguyen Thanh Bich wants you to leave your motorbike at home for just one day out of the week.

Sunday is such good a day to use public transport or a bicycle, said the Ho Chi Minh City secondary school student.

"Every citizen should curtail his or her use of any vehicle that adds harmful pollutants to the air," she said. "Bicycles and public transportation are feasible alternatives."

Thinking green for just one day a week could provide a good beginning for a broad environmental campaign.

On Tuesday (December 14), Bich won the "Green Tips Competition" hosted by the British Council in Vietnam.

 For the past month, representatives from the Council have run an "I am Green" campaign to raise environmental awareness among Vietnamese youth.

The program included a "How green is your city?" photo competition, Green Tip Box Competition, Wildlife Conservation Competition and several environmental talks hosted at the Council offices in Hanoi and HCMC.

The Council also screened a host of environmentally-themed films.

"The campaign has been extremely successful. We received over 400 entries for the competitions from different places in Vietnam and almost 200 people attended the discussions and film screenings," said Robin Rickard, British Council Vietnam director.

Prizes for the winners included English courses at the British Council. Vacation packages provided by Exotissimo were given to 30 winners from all categories. Twenty contestants who won the "Wildlife Conservation" competition will go on a trip to the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Center in the eponymous district in HCMC.

Many submissions to the photo competition "How Green Is Your City?" depicted parks and green spaces in both towns.

Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy took second prize with an image of the Ho Chi Minh City skyline blurred by layers of smoke.

Thuy expressed concern that the rapid construction in the city will ultimately consume its natural spaces.

"We have less green [-ery than ever before] and we should take action to preserve our hometown," she said.


A workshop aimed at raising awareness about environmental protection will be held on Sunday (December 19) at the Hanoi University of Pharmaceuticals.

The "Living green Easy or not?" workshop will be jointly held by the Live and Learn Center for Environment and Community (Live & Learn) and Center for Community Initiative and Environment (C&E).

The event will provide a chance for them to discuss strategies to promote a sustainable lifestyle in Vietnam, organizers said.

Participants are expected to vote for initiatives in the Green Living exhibition which will showcase ideas from young people across Vietnam.

The organizers plan to present the audience with information about cosmetic production and consumption.

Applications for participation are available until 5 p.m. on Friday (December 17) at`

The Hanoi University of Pharmaceuticals is located at 15 Le Thanh Tong Street in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem District.

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