Zero Waste Laos held the Youth Climate Action Conference at Crown Plaza Hotel in Vientiane, which was supported by the European Union in Laos and Norwegian People’s Aid.
The conference opening was co-chaired by Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė, European Ambassador to Lao PDR, and Ms. Bouakham Soulivanh, Head of Cabinet for the Ministry Of Natural Resources and Environment. The event was attended by 125 participants, most of whom were young people and volunteers.
This event was held to present the results of the previous tree planting activities in 260 schools, as well as the achievements of Zero Waste Laos’s activities this year. During the event, a competition was organized to determine a Young Climate Ambassador. The winner of the title Youth Climate Ambassador is Anouluck Phanthavong from Luang Prabang province, who received an E-bike. The 2nd and 3rd runners-up received solar panel lighting systems. In total, the awards were worth about 500 Euro.
There was also a competition for creative and sustainable fashion, as well as several speeches to explain why climate matters, and what can be done about climate change locally. The conference seeks to encourage participants to be the change for environmental protection.
The event provided various organizations an opportunity to showcase their actions through booths, product exhibitions, and games which educate on climate change.
Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė, EU Ambassador to Lao PDR, said in her speech that “youth has a key role to play, as addressing climate change is about preparing the future, the more we do now, the less painful it will be in the next decades.” She also mentioned that “the Team Europe is prepared to continue its support to the Government of Lao PDR, in particular through cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, with view to increase sustainable and inclusive trade, investment and connectivity in the agriculture and forestry sectors.”
This program goes beyond “business as usual” and seeks to promote Green Sustainability and an Inclusive Agriculture and Forestry sector.
“We plan to replicate implementing this project in many provinces of Laos and raising awareness about climate change. In the near future, we will implement tree planting in 100 schools at 4 provinces in Southern Laos with the support from NPA” said by Ms. Souksaveuy Keotiamchanh, Founder of Zero Waste Laos. She went on to thank the EU in Lao PDR for supporting her organization in creating more climate action and green spaces in schools.