On 10 January 2017, GreenHub joined the Fight for a Healthy Ocean with the Alliance Action for a Green Ha Long Programme. Over 100 volunteers took to cleaning up litter on the beaches of the Cat Ba Islands, Ha Long Bay. The “Alliance Action for a Green Ha Long” was organized to mobilise community participation to preserve the natural values of the Ha Long Bay World heritage Site, and to raise awareness on the devastating impact of pollution on the marine environment.
Joined by the United States Ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, the volunteers collected almost 150 bags of rubbish, weighing more than 664kg. About 70% of this waste was made up of polystyrene, the remaining rubbish both recyclable and non-recyclable materials, including plastic and glass bottles, fishing equipment, rope, cigarette lighters, plastic bags, straws and thousands of micro plastic pieces.
Marine debris is a threat to marine animals and ecosystems, is a hazard to fishing activities, can negatively impact on tourism, impacts human health from toxins in the food chain and costs local authorities to remove the waste [i ]. Not only that, but marine debris is known to persist for hundreds of years in the environment.
By promoting the replacement of the materials that housing floats and aquaculture buoys are made of, the Ha Long City People’s Committee has started to address the problem of polystyrene in the area.
What can you do to Join The Fight For a Healthy Ocean?
· Reduce the amount of rubbish you produce.
· Take reusable shopping bags with you to the supermarket rather than using plastic bags.
· Recycle as much of your rubbish that you can.
· Keep streets, parks and storm drains free of trash.
· Join local efforts to pick up rubbish.
The Alliance Action for a Green Ha Long Programme was part of the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Centre for MarineLife Conservation and Community Development (MCD). For more information on the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance, visit the IUCN website.