USAID ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR MEKONG PROGRAM
On 23rd November 2022, the Institute for Climate Change Research (DRAGON-Mekong), Can Tho University (CTU) organized a kick off meeting of the “USAID environmental education for Mekong program”. The aim of the meeting is to present an overview of the program, and through discussions to identify the environment, biodiversity and climate-related problems within the community and develop a plan to address the problems; simultaneously, looking for potential candidates to participate in the upcoming activities of the program.
Collective picture of the meeting
Overall, the “USAID environmental education for Mekong program” is implemented for the purpose of: (1) identifying the environment, biodiversity and climate-related problems in three ecological subregions in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD); (2) developing documents, organizing training sessions and seminars to improve the knowledge and skills for young people in all 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta in order to contribute to solving issues related to climate change, environment and biodiversity. The program is conducted under the direction of Program manager Associate Professor Tran Trung Tinh, Vice Rector of Can Tho University and Associate Professor Van Pham Dang Tri, Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change (DRAGON-Mekong Institute), Program Coordinator.
Attending the meeting were Prof. Dr. Tran Ngoc Hai - Vice Rector of Can Tho University, Mrs. Tran Thi Thuy Tien - Secretary of the Youth Union of Can Tho University, Dr. Phan Kieu Diem – Program assistant, Dr. Nguyen Anh Minh – Program secretary, with the participation of Youth Union from 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta and more than 80 students from faculties and schools of CTU. In addition, representatives of YSEALI-Mekong (based in Ho Chi Minh City) also attended the event to share relevant experiences.
Delegates at the workshop
The workshop took place with a plenary session, specifically including (1) Prof. Dr Tran Ngoc Hai giving the opening speech of the workshop, (2) Dr. Phan Kieu Diem introducing an overview of the activities of the program “USAID environmental education for Mekong program”, and (3) sharing of Mr. Huynh Ngoc The Anh, Secretary of the Youth Union of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology on communication applications, skills and tips for delivering the message of the environmental education program.
Prof. Dr. Tran Ngoc Hai delivered the opening speech of the workshop
Dr. Phan Kieu Diem briefly introduced the activities of the “USAID environmental education for Mekong program”
After the plenary session, there were three parallel discussion sessions. According to the VMD hydrological characteristics, the participants were divided into three groups to discuss environmental education in 3 ecological subregions including (1) flood zones, (2) freshwater zones, (3) saline-influenced zones. These three discussions aim to identify issues related to environment, climate change and develop a plan to improve capacity such as knowledge and skills for the youth in 3 ecological subregions of VMD.
Group discussion - flood zones
Group discussion - freshwater zones
Group discussion - Saline-influenced zones
The workshop achieved the following results:
- The workshop initially approached the target group of students/the youth in CTU and in all 13 provinces of VMD to introduce the environmental education program and prepare the second activity to train students/the youth in knowledge and skills under the program framework.
- Regarding the main issues, the solid waste management in flood zones and freshwater zones, and implementing the adaptation activities of saline intrusion in saline-influenced zones were identified to be considered in the training.
- Regarding the plan for the “train the trainer” program, the list of specialized knowledge and skills was listed to be added into the training program of the specific subregion in VMD.
In general, the workshop created an effective forum for students at CTU and the Youth Union in 13 provinces of VMD to share their perspectives and related ideas. This is considered as the first step to continue building the next activities in the chain of environmental education programs to improve and raise the capacity and awareness of the youth about the environment, climate change and biological diversity. Thereby, the program will continue to implement the training in three ecological subregions in VMD in April 2023 to achieve the goal of raising awareness of the youth about climate change and environment, biodiversity degradation./.
Delegates took souvenir photos at the workshop
Group discussion - freshwater zones
Group discussion - saline-influenced zones