At the conference (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Ngo Sach Thuc highlighted the role of religions in protecting the environment and responding to climate change at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on May 31.

Addressing the conference of the steering board for a coordination programme to promote the role of religions in protecting the environment and responding to climate change, Thuc affirmed the event was a chance to discuss and share effective measures taken by religions.

He stressed the formation of self-governing groups on environment by the Fatherland Fronts in several localities, which, he said, helps encourage the involvement of the entire society in environmental protection and climate change adaptation.

According to him, after the three-year implementation of the coordination programme, 61 out of 63 localities have signed coordination programmes and plans between the fatherland fronts, natural resources and environment sectors and local religious institutions.

To date, 322 models related to the involvement of religions in environmental protection and climate change response have been built.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has put the coordination programme into its annual Buddhist operation programme, while combining the dissemination of the Party’s policies and the State’s laws on environmental protection and climate change adaptation in Buddhist lectures and extra-curricula programmes in Buddhism-related schools.

The Protestant Church has implemented the coordination programme in each its chapter, and encouraged Protestant followers to actively participate in the programme. Meanwhile, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Vietnam has carried out several activities, including building rainwater tanks totalling 100,000 USD in Ben Tre, Long An and Vinh Long, and providing a 30,000 USD relief aid for drought in Quang Ngai.

Vietnam recognises 41 religious institutions of 14 religions with over 25 million followers, accounting for 27 percent of the population, over 80,000 dignitaries and nearly 26,000 religious practice facilities.

Religious institutions have contributed importantly to charitable activities and disaster relief, as well as environmental protection and climate change response activities.

According to a survey of 21 out of 41 religious institutions in Vietnam, nearly 80 percent of the respondents said they had participated in protecting the environment and responding to climate change.-VNA