The 4th Asian Students Environment Platform (ASEP) Held in Vietnam
The 4th Asian Students Environment Platform (ASEP) organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation was held from August 3 to 9, 2015, in Vietnam.
In regard to the cooperation of the “promotion of environmental education” and “implementation of tree planting,” our foundation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010. Based on the MOU, ASEP has been held annually since 2012 as a 10-year project in order to promote the “United Nations Decade on Biodiversity” which started in 2011 and to develop human resources which can display leadership at the global level.
In addition to the past participating universities including Waseda University (Japan), Tsinghua University (China), Korea University (South Korea), the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (Vietnam) and the University of Malaya (Malaysia), the Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia) newly participated in ASEP 2015. This year, under the theme of "Biodiversity and Humans," the 72 students from six countries exchanged opinions from global perspectives, deepening their understanding about natural environments, history and the cultures and values of the respective countries.
After their visit to several sites in Vietnam, students learnt the history and wisdom of Vietnam through lectures by intellectuals and interviews with local people, and had further discussions about the balance between the conservation of biodiversity and economic development including agriculture and fisheries. Students examined co-existence with nature at Hạ Long Bay (Vịnh Hạ Long) which is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, feeling the great power of nature which creates grand landscapes. At a village adjacent to Hanoi, students were able to hear from farmers who have been engaged in environmentally conscious agriculture without using agricultural chemicals.
In the latter part of the forum, students joined a tree-planting festival held at the AEON shopping mall in Long Bien, Hanoi, the third to be opened in Vietnam. On the last day, students gave presentations and made proposals on ways to develop economies while conserving the environment toward a sustainable future.
AEON Environmental Foundation will make further efforts in order to hand down clean water and rich greenery to future generations and to realize the “future of dreams” where humans live in harmony with nature.