Children in Hanoi will have a chance to learn about biodiversity protection through a special performance of the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.

The theatre, in collaboration with TRAFFIC – the wildlife trade monitoring network, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Biodiversity Conservation Association, will hold a series of shows for schoolchildren in Hanoi to raise their awareness about the threats facing biodiversity.

The event is being held in support of the International Biodiversity Day on May 22.

During May, children from selected primary schools will attend a newly developed show by the theatre called Ao Lang (Village Pond), which focuses on educating audience members about the importance of biodiversity protection and water conservation through a series of short stories that explore issues of habitat degradation and competition for natural resources.

"As Vietnam sees many of its species lost due to habitat destruction, climate change and poaching, many young Vietnamese are growing up in a time in which their natural heritage has been taken away from them," said Dr Naomi Doak, TRAFFIC's Greater Mekong Programme Coordinator.

"This show hopes to inspire youth in Vietnam to value the country's biodiversity and want to protect it, rather than exploiting it for personal gain," she added. " Vietnam has many unique and amazing species that everyone should be incredibly proud of."

Though some primary and secondary schools in Hanoi are beginning to include issues relating to the environment and biodiversity as part of their curriculum, this was done primarily through the efforts of individuals within schools rather than through an overarching educational policy.

This event helps expose students to pressing environmental issues that are not always discussed in traditional educational settings.

The newly developed show will become a permanent feature of the puppet theatre's weekly lineup of performances available to the general public.

It is part of the theatre's efforts to create socially conscious yet entertaining shows that showcase the rich history of Vietnamese water puppetry.-VNA