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Religions promote role in environmental protection, humanitarian aid

The Standing Board of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s (VFF) Central Committee and the Nordic Assistance to Vietnam- Norwegian Church Aid co-organised a training course in Ho Chi Minh City on August 10, focusing on the Humanitarian Charter and other criteria of humanitarian aid for religious dignitaries and followers.

The participants came from HCM City, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, and the southern provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tay Ninh, Ben Tre, and Dong Thap.

In his opening remarks, Vice President of the VFF Central Committee Ngo Sach Thuc said that in recent times, religious organisations nationwide have constructively and effectively participated in action programmes that work to protect the environment, cope with climate change, and provide humanitarian aid.

The course offers an opportunity for representatives of various religions to exchange their experiences in implementing such programmes, he said, highlighting the role by religious institutions in raising public awareness of environmental protection.

The training course, which lasts until August 12, focuses on environmental protection amidst the effects of climate change in Vietnam, community-based natural disaster combat, and natural disaster relief.

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.

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