A group of four environmentally conscious students from Le Quy Don High School in Quang Tri’s Dong Ha City have taken it upon themselves to make a difference. Dubbing themselves the Green Era Group, these young change-makers have embarked on a mission to bring life back to the barren hills and forests of the Dakrong Nature Reserve.

Their journey began in August 2023, when they presented their ambitious plan to local organizations. The response was overwhelming, and the group quickly raised over VND120 million ($4,884). This funding was used to purchase 1,000 saplings, which the students carefully planted in the nature reserve.

Fast forward to mid-May, and these trees have already been growing for about six months, reaching a height of about 10 centimeters. The Green Era Group’s efforts are a tangible sign of the impending revitalization of the once-barren landscape.

Led by 11th-grader Lam Hong Phuc, the group’s passion and determination are evident. “Each additional tree mitigates the adverse impacts of climate change,” Phuc shared. “Every new expanse of greenery inspires us to persist in our journey.”

One of the 1,000 trees planted by the Green Era Group stands tall in Dakrong Nature Reserve, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. Photo: H.P. / Tuoi Tre

Inspiring a Greener Future

Quang Tri Province has been battling the harsh effects of climate change, including droughts, flooding, and landslides. The Green Era Group’s tree-planting initiative aims to safeguard the soil, curb erosion, and reduce the impact of flash floods, ultimately helping to protect the region from these natural disasters.

With a long-term vision in mind, the group plans to nurture their newly planted forest until it reaches maturity by 2028. Additionally, they intend to continue their fundraising efforts to expand their impact and plant even more trees in new areas.

Beyond tree planting, these students are advocates for forest conservation. They utilize social media and donations to spread awareness and encourage others to join the movement for reforestation and afforestation. The group also has plans to organize forums that bring together environmental, educational, cultural, and tourism stakeholders to discuss sustainable living and adapting to climate change.

Ultimately, their goal is to empower young people to become ambassadors for afforestation, equipped with the skills and knowledge to make a lasting impact on their environment.

Members of the Green Era Group take part in planting 1,000 trees at Dakrong Nature Reserve, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. Photo: H.P. / Tuoi Tre

“When you plant a tree today, you’re not just sowing seeds, you’re planting hope and aspiration,” said Phuc. “These trees will welcome you with open branches and strong roots when you return to visit them.”

The director of the Dakrong Nature Reserve, Truong Quang Trung, commends the group’s efforts and the impact they are having. “The importance of the Green Era Group’s idea far surpasses their young age,” he said. “I hope they continue to pursue their passion for the forest and work towards an environmentally sustainable future.”

In collaboration with the Vietnam Packaging Recycling Organization (PRO Vietnam) and other partners, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper is proud to host the ‘Green Regeneration’ contest from May 15 to August 15, 2024. This initiative is part of the Green Vietnam 2024 project, which launched on April 20.

The contest invites participants to share their actions, initiatives, and innovative products that contribute to recycling, emission reduction, and environmental protection. It aims to encourage individuals, community groups, and businesses to embrace sustainable practices and create a greener Vietnam.

Evaluation criteria for submissions include feasibility, growth potential, practicality, applicability, and contribution to environmental preservation and national sustainable development. An expert panel of professionals and businesses in the environmental and circular economy fields will assess the entries, with their evaluation carrying 80% of the total score. Reader votes will account for the remaining 20%.

Readers can show their support by awarding stars (15 points), hearts (3 points), and likes (2 points) to their favorite entries.

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