“Seeing is Believing” – My Journey with VYVOICExViet Nam Youth4Climate 2022
Dear aspiring young climate change activists,
I’ve lived out my entire childhood in a fishing village in Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh a coastal city in central Vietnam, always bustling with visitors mesmerized by our spectacular beaches, ideal tropical climate, and breathtaking sunrises over the East Sea. Over the years, however, I have witnessed our residents, especially fishermen, and local residents living in coastal and low-lying areas, come face-to-face with the rippling effects of climate change with increasing sea level rise, storm surges, floods, and overall warming temperatures. The overwhelming feeling of climate anxiety—of having inherited an increasingly warming and depleting planet—is one of my key motivations to take climate action and hopefully inspire my generation to join along.
Tracing the steps of my academic voyage, from studying and organizing different MUN (Model United Nations) conferences for my local high school to organizing “VYVOICExViet Nam Youth4Climate 2022”, I came to realize the different academic disciplines needed to develop young Vietnamese citizen’s awareness and critical understanding of climate change. More often than not, at school, we are hardly ever taught the full extent of climate change and its complexities—the many unaccounted variables of a warming planet and the pathways toward “true” climate resilience.
As a climate change poster competition, “VYVOICExViet Nam Youth4Climate 2022” is not just a one-time initiative. Contestants were given the opportunity to hone their critical thinking and research skills by creating their own infographic posters about various climate issues while potentially joining us for future UNDP youth-led climate initiatives. It is not only a time capsule preserving the anxiety, frustrations, and hope of Vietnamese young people about climate injustices but also a prime opportunity for them to facilitate middle-building conversations and use their creativity and knowledge to convey much-needed messages about the impact of climate change. By displaying these posters, we hope to help our readers both “see” and “believe” the many realities of climate change.
Today, there are currently 1.8 billion young people in the world who are between the ages of 10 and 24, making this generation the largest ever recorded in the annals of human history. The greatest youth population to ever exist comes with our greatest chance at fighting climate change. We, as young Vietnamese youngsters—both collectively and individually—should continue to advocate for our communities to engage with climate change on a personal level, heed the science, and work together to combat climate change.
Resolve, Resilience, Rejuvenation
P.S. Special thanks to all the participants, UNDP advisors, and VYCO organizers for their time, effort, and dedication, especially Ngoc Anh and chi Ha Nguyen, chi Hien and Morgane who have been tremendously encouraging and supportive of my efforts and vision.