Seven young Vietnamese are taking part in a workshop in Jakarta, addressing problems threatening Southeast Asia’s marine and coastal environment.
The “YSEALI Generation: Oceans” workshop gathers 64 young leaders between 18 and 25 years old from 10 ASEAN member states between March 16 and 20 to discuss environmental issues and develop plans.
Nine of the ASEAN countries are coastal and the workshop is organized as the region is vulnerable to increasing effects from climate change and at the same time destroying marine environment by excessive plastic waste dumping, according to a press release.
It said rising sea level has been a threat to rice farms in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are also among countries dumping the most plastic waste into the oceans.
Plastic waste along the coast in central Vietnam. Photo credit: Dan Tri
Figures from the Global Water Forum show that Asian rivers have three times more waste than the world average while studies from the World Resources Institute found that most coral reefs in Southeast Asia are at risk.
The workshop is part of US President Barack Obama’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), with focus on developing paths to policy, technical, and civil society solutions for the most serious problems.
The Vietnamese participants are from universities in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Japan.