Joining the conference included President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee Trần Thanh Mẫn, Minister for Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà, Vice Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Bùi Thanh Hà and heads of religious organizations in Vietnam.
The event also saw the presence of Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam Grethe Lochen, Head of NCA’s Asian and Middle-East Region Margrethe Volden, and Director of NCA in Vietnam Knut Christiansen.
The conference reviewed the four-year implementation of a joint program on environmental protection and praised faith based organizations in protecting the environment.
The joint program on environmental protection and climate change response for the 2015-2020 period was signed between the Standing Board of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Centre Committee, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and 40 religious organizations in Vietnam in December 2015, comprising of five main contents and seven measures.
The coordination program has achieved positive results and created a radical change in awareness of organizations and people from all walks of life.
To date, more than 1,000 piloted environmental protection programs have been set up by religious organizations suiting the each religious organization and practical conditions in localities across the country. With the support of the VFF and the environment ministry, these programs brought positive changes in understanding and lifestyles of religious followers and local communities in the environmental issues.
Speaking at the conference, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Trần Thanh Mẫn emphasized the exchanges of experience and effective models in protecting the environment and responding to climate change. He also called on religious organizations in Vietnam to coordinate with central and local agencies and international organizations to effectively implement the joint program.
Delegates at the conference
At the event, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment presented certificates of merit to 39 groups, 20 individuals and nine effective models in carrying out the joint program on environmental protection.
The two-day conference will continue on October 15 with two plenary sessions and a thematic discussion on orientations, plans, and commitments of religions in promoting the implementation of the joint program. The event also features booths displaying results of the joint program, and a training workshop on climate change response for 300 Buddhist monks and nuns of the Vietnam Buddhist Institute in Hue.