Photo taken by Lekima Hung

Ha Noi, 4 June 2019 – On the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5) and World Ocean Day (June 8), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Viet Nam’s Ambassador of Blue Ocean, Photographer Nguyen Viet Hung (or Lekima Hung), co-organized a photo exhibition on plastic waste entittled "Save Our Sea" (SOS). The exhibition opened with an opening ceremony on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 and will be opened to the public until the end of Sunday, June 9, 2019, at 29 Hang Bai, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi.

With the message "Only action brings changes", the photo exhibition aims to raise the awareness of everyone about the problem of plastic waste, suggests some possible solutions and calls for joint action from ministries, businesses and people to reduce plastic waste pollution in Viet Nam.

The exhibition showcases over 100 photos selected from more than 3,000 photos taken by Photographer Nguyen Viet Hung (or Lekima Hung) as he travelled by motorcycle along Viet Nam’s 3,000 km of coastline, in 28 cities and over 100 estuaries. The photos are arranged according to the content, location, and shooting time so that viewers can visualize an overall picture of the state of plastic waste throughout the coast of Viet Nam.

Plastic products and plastic bags have created great utility for human life, however the use of these products has been leaving unpredictable consequences on the environment, human health and every creature on earth.

Globally, an estimated 500 billion plastic bags are used each year, 1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute, 8-12 million tons of plastic leak into the sea, it takes 400 years to 1000 years for plastic waste to completely decompose in the environment, and 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic waste. If this trend continues, by 2050, our oceans will have more plastic than fish.

As a country with a rapid growth rate, Viet Nam is facing to serious environmental pollution issues that adversely affect economic development and human health, and plastic waste pollution is one of these issues. With more than 3000 km of coastline along the length of the country, the country discharges into the ocean every year about 0.28 to 0.73 million tons of plastic waste through 112 estuaries. 80% of Viet Nam's marine waste comes from land activities. The figures show that we must act now in the fight against plastic waste.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition, Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam said, "Plastic waste is one of the global challenges, requiring the efforts of all countries from Government, business and people.” She also called for practical action such as “Say no to single-use plastic products, use environmentally friendly products that are locally produced. Together we create a greener, cleaner Vietnam.”

“I want my story to inspire the community and to contribute to changing perceptions, raising awareness and promoting positive actions of each individual that it is us who can make changes to fight plastic waste pollution. I also want to encourage the voices of citizens to call on the government to enhance policies to fights against plastic waste and to save the oceans” photographer Lekima Hung shared at the opening ceremony.

Attending the opening ceremony of the exhibition were the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Viet Nam, representatives of UN organizations, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, photographers, media agencies and many visitors.

More information, please kindly contact:
Phan Hương Giang
UNDP Media and Communications Analyst,
Climate change and Environment
Email: phan.huong.giang@undp.org; Mob: 0948466688

Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam, Her Excellency, Ms. Elsbeth Akkerman, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Netherlands to Viet Nam and photographer Lekima Hung say no to plastic.
Press briefing before the launch of the photo exhibition
Photo taken by Lekima Hung
Photo taken by Lekima Hung
Photo taken by Lekima Hung
Photo taken by Lekima Hung
Photo taken by Lekima Hung
Photo taken by Lekima Hung
Photo taken by Lekima Hung

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