The following a report sent in by 350 leader in Vietnam, Hong Hoang.

350 in Vietnam, in coordination with the Center for Support of Combatting Climate Change (SCC) and Maersk Line, organized a Climate Camp in An Ngai Tay Commune, Ba Tri District, Ben Tre Province in late December.

“Climate Camp is a creative model of combatting climate change that is getting more and more popular worldwide, and 350 Vietnam wishes to popularize this model in Vietnam. Being the most widespread climate change movement on the planet, more than anything, we wish to be able to coordinate the projects that can directly help the affected communities, rather than being limited to coordinating the campaign activities in big cities only”, Hoang Thi Minh Hong, Vietnam Coordinator of explains about the meaning of Climate Camp.

At the Climate Camp, its 50 campers, including members of Coordinating Team, SCC staffs, and Maersk Line staff, had a unique experience with the camp activities in the commune. The campers came to visit the families who had been affected by climate change, listened to the villagers’ stories around the climate change consequences they had suffered from, specifically the recent rising tides, the typhoons of increasing intensity, the more frequent floods …, and came to realize the attacking power of climate change on lives of the Mekong Delta residents. In parallel with the visit to the village, other campers had a great morning with 100 students of the An Ngai Tay Secondary School, where they rolled out a mini “Green Class” with the kids, with exciting games, quiz, shared with them interesting stories about the environment and inspired the kids to adopt simple green living habits which are suitable to their age and local context.

Another important activity of the Climate Camp, was a friendly workshop for technology transfer, attended by all campers and almost 40 villagers, to introduce solution-oriented product and technology for Ben Tre Province, specifically the solar stove and the lightweight coconut shell concrete panel. The villagers had a chance to learn about the special features and functions of the solar stove and had good conversations with the training expert from Da Nang. The presentation on lightweight coconut shell concrete panels also received special attention from the communal government and residents. This newly studied concrete panel not only has high economic value because it uses the most abundant material in Ben Tre –coconut shells, which considerably cuts production cost for the users, but also has big potentials to be a solution for the Mekong Delta communities who live with frequent floods, as the ready-made concrete panels are very easy to be installed and removed.

With support from Maersk Line, the climate campers gave 6 solar stoves to 6 families, representing the poor families badly affected by climate change in the commune, and gave cash donations to 25 other families. The group also contributed cash to build a charity house, and gave scholarships to 4 excellent students from poor families at An Ngai Tay School.

Mr Mai Van Bon, Chairman of An Ngai Tay Communal People’s Committee made a speech at the workshop, “Ba Tri is one of the three districts most affected by climate change in Ben Tre Province, but we know that we should not wait for help forever. The communal government is committed to bring solution-oriented technologies and products like these to the local communities, so our people can contribute to the environmental and climate issues that we are already suffering from.”

Also at the workshop, there were discussion sections where Maersk Line staff and’s coordinating team joined together to discuss ideas for a feasible community-based project, aiming to help An Ngai Tay residents solve their job and environmental issues, that Maersk Line might be able to support in the future. In addition to that, a series of ideas to further green Maersk Line’s business practices and office operations were proposed and agreed upon by all campers to be submitted to the company’s management board, so that the company can contribute more effectively to movement in Vietnam. Prior to that, in order to be well-prepared for the Climate Camp, the campers from Maersk Line had attended a training workshop provided by, which prepared them with basic understandings of climate change and its impacts, and equipped them with skills on how to build a successful community-based climate change project.

“We are always proud that Maersk Line is a green shipping company which uses the most advanced and environmentally friendly technologies, and has contributed considerably to the environmental protection and community support efforts, but joining this Climate Camp, we have come to realize we have to do a lot more,” said Duong Kim Khanh, Head of Maersk Line’s Community Development Unit. “This trip has given me a better picture of the climate change consequences that this district in particular and the whole planet is facing, and it further motivates me to take more actions to slow down climate change that is already happening worldwide.”

Climate Camp is one of the priority programs of Vietnam campaign in the coming period, which has been stated clearly in the coordinating team’s commitment to coordinate a long-term sustainable climate change movement with solution-driven and communications-purposed activities, so that Vietnam can contribute most effectively to the global movement that has been so spread out worldwide. The Ben Tre Climate Camp, was the camping event that continued the success of the previous Climate Camp at Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, attended by 350 Vietnam’s Goodwill Ambassadors and journalists.

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