Saigon murals seek to raise awareness of environmental dire straits

June 30, 2019 | 04:54 pm GMT+7

Walls of the Phan Liem Street in Ho Chi Minh City now sport colorful murals cataloging environmental destruction.

Saigon murals seek to raise awareness of environmental dire straits

200 local environmentalists and volunteers worked shoulder to shoulder for a week to transform a half-a-kilometer-long grey street wall in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 to a canvas for 10 murals seeking to promote environment protection.

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Aiming to highlight the climate crisis and human impacts on nature, Change/WildAid Vietnam - the project’s organizer – hopes the murals will raise awareness among urban residents and promote sustainable lifestyles.

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Artists first made sketches of the murals and stuck them on the walls and mixed the paints so that volunteer painters could finish the job.

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A volunteer protects himself from the sun with his shirt as he dabs paint on the street wall.

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"My mom and I learnt about this art project online and both decided to join," said Nguyen Minh Quang, a volunteer from the neighboring province of Binh Phuoc.Saigon murals seek to raise awareness of environmental dire straits - 5

The overuse of plastic, which has long been overlooked in Vietnam's big cities is the theme of another mural. The government has belatedly set an ambitious target of eliminating disposable plastic use in urban stores, markets and supermarkets by 2021.

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One of the murals depicts the harsh, dark reality of ocean pollution.

Vietnam has been named fourth in the list of nations dumping plastic waste in the ocean by the United Nations Environment Program.

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A passerby takes a picture of a mural showing endangered pangolins.

Despite official bans, the pangolin is among the most hunted and trafficked creature in Vietnam and its neighborhood for their meat and the alleged medicinal properties of their scales.

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Another animal on the verge of extinction in Vietnam is the wild elephant. Demand for ivory has kept the illegal market for elephant trunks thriving despite prevention efforts made by authorities and conservationists. Vietnam has also been named an ivory tracking hub by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

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A family on a motorbike goes past a mural showing a family enjoying nature. The project organizers plan more murals to keep issues of environmental destruction and the need for conservation in the public eye.

 
 
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