Is­lan­ders urged not to use plas­tic bags and straws

Viet Nam News - - ENVIRONMENT -

LYÙ SÔN IS­LAND — The In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture (IUCN) has launched a com­mu­ni­ca­tion campaign to cut the use of plas­tic bags on Lyù Sôn Is­land, as a pre­lude to its sea tur­tle con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme on the is­land.

IUCN’s Ma­rine and Coastal re­source pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor Buøi Thò Thu Hieàn said the com­mu­ni­ca­tion campaign, which is sched­uled for May 15 to June 1, aims to raise awareness among is­lan­ders and tourists of the need to cre­ate clean and safe ma­rine ar­eas for sea tur­tles re­turn­ing to the is­land.

She said the pro­gramme will en­cour­age ho­tel own­ers and tour op­er­a­tors to com­mit to pro­vid­ing free drink wa­ter for tourists when vis­it­ing the is­lands as part of the ini­tia­tive ‘Re­fill, Not Land­fill’.

The campaign also wants to send a mes­sage ‘Down 1 bot­tle, Save the Fu­ture’, to re­duce the use of sin­gle-use plas­tic bags to save the ocean from plas­tic pol­lu­tion.

Last year, IUCN, with fi­nan­cial sup­port from the US Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Lyù Sôn Is­land Dis­trict, de­buted a col­lec­tion of 30 mu­rals with the theme ‘I love the ocean, and I’m born to be wild’ in An Bình Islet Com­mune, fo­cus­ing on pro­tect­ing the ma­rine tur­tle, a species con­sid­ered an in­di­ca­tor of the sta­tus of the coastal en­vi­ron­ment.

Quaûng Ngaõi beaches, in­clud­ing ar­eas in Bình Sôn Dis­trict on Lyù Sôn Is­land, had 200 sea tur­tles reg­u­larly ap­proach­ing the beaches to lay their eggs in the 1980s.

How­ever, the fig­ure dropped by 90 per cent be­tween 1980 and 2000 due to rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion, over­fish­ing and the con­struc­tion of con­crete dykes.

On Chamø Is­land, a world bio­sphere re­serve site in Quaûng Nam Prov­ince, the man­age­ment board of Chaøm Is­land’s Ma­rine Pro­tected Area has be­gun a campaign to stop the use of plas­tic straws and sin­gleuse plas­tic cups among lo­cals and visi­tors.

The lo­cal com­mu­nity is be­ing en­cour­aged to re­use and re­cy­cle ma­te­rial straws (metal, bam­boo or grass).

The is­land, 20km off the coast of Hoäi An beach, was the first lo­cal­ity in Vieät Nam ban­ning the use of plas­tic bags and pro­mot­ing the 3-R (re­duce, re­use and re­cy­cle) pro­grammes in 2011.

Is­land of­fi­cials said all tourists are warned to leave ny­lon bags on the main­land be­fore go­ing on a speed­boat trip to the is­land.

About 3,000 in­hab­i­tants of Chaøm Is­land and tourists re­lease three tonnes of garbage each day, ac­cord­ing to the is­land com­mune’s com­mit­tee.

About 4,800 colonies of coral have been grown on an area of 4,000sq.m since 2012, and the is­land is home to 1.26sq.km of coral reefs.

It hosts some 100,000 tourists an­nu­ally, 10 per cent of whom are for­eign­ers.

Chaøm Is­land’s Ma­rine Pro­tected Area man­age­ment board has also launched elec­tronic tick­ets in­stead of pa­per for trav­el­ling to the is­land.

The dig­i­tal sys­tem helps limit pa­per use for ticket print­ing and re­duces waste. — VNS

A ban­ner on Chaøm Is­land’s Höông beach warns tourists and lo­cal res­i­dents to stop us­ing plas­tic bags in or­der to keep the ocean clean. — VNS Photo Coâng Thaønh

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