Best youth-led initiatives for climate announced

October 6, 2021

Nguyen Van Hien won the first prize of the Youth for Climate Innovationstive Contest (Y4CIC) with his solution to plant mulberry trees at border regions to create a biological barrier, protecting the earth, preventing soil erosion and improving socio-economic conditions for border residents.” 

Le Thi Thao and Green Future HTK team got the second places with the initiative to collect and process discarded straws to reduce air pollution and improve cement surfaces for salt production; and the mini museum for educational materials made from recycled garbage, respectively.
The winning teams will receive a total of 90mil VND cash prize and technical advice of experts from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) to realize their innovative and transformative solutions in their communities, thus contributing to reducing  emissions and accelerating adaptation efforts in the near future.

“I am very happy and also surprised to hear that I am the winner of the Y4CIC. I will quickly finalize the proposal according to the judges' comments to realize the idea and create a new source of livelihood for local people and green the bare land," said Nguyen Van Hien when receiving the award.

These are among the 10 outstanding youth-led climate initiatives that were honored at the Final Round and Award Ceremony of the  Y4CIC by UNDP, HCYU Central Committee, and the Department of Climate Change (MONRE).

The 2021 Y4CIC revealed the positive effects of promoting the participation and creativity of the young generation of Viet Nam  in the race against climate change. Through the contest, creative, practical and impactful ideas will be further developed for effective implementation and replication in the future.

From 28 May to 07 August 2021, the Y4CIC received 400 entries from youth unions in 54 out of 63 provinces across Viet Nam. The entries followed four themes: Creative Communication, Mitigation, Climate adaptation prioritizing Nature-based solutions, and Climate-responsible business strategies.

At the final round,  the top 10 individuals and teams had the opportunity to present the strengths of their initiatives and convince the jury that their solutions are ready for implementation and will bring a positive impact  to Viet Nam’s climate and environment.

Based on the four criteria Innovation - Practicality - Sustainability and Scalability - Implementation plan, the jury marked and announced the winners. 

“UNDP Viet Nam is pleased to see today, very practical and innovative ideas based on the knowledge and experience of young people to tackle environmental and climate issues from a local and national level. Together with our partners, we call on all of you to become ambassadors to spread the message of joining hands for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable Viet Nam.” Mr. Patrick Haverman, Deputy Resident Representative in UNDP Viet Nam, highlighted.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Ngo Van Cuong, Secretary of the HCYU Central Committee shared “Through the contest, the capacity and creativity of Youth Union members can be clearly seen in environmental protection and climate change adaptation. It is entirely possible for Vietnamese youth to contribute more and bring more positive results to deal with climate issues as well as ensure a sustainable future for Vietnam."

In addition, Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director of the Department of Climate Change also sent encouragement to TOP 10 “The ideas and actions of over 400 participants in the contest have all been commendable, as they contributed toward addressing global climate change. You dared to give voice to your ideas, building the trust and interest of others so that many would join in. Continue to learn, cultivate your youthful creativity, and inspire others to take action for a beautiful planet.”

Attending the event, Prof. Tran Thuc, Vice-Chairman of the Viet Nam Panel on Climate Change, highlighted some areas that youth can effectively contribute to climate action in Viet Nam, such as creative communication, community education, etc. “Science - Technology is the key to solving the climate problem. In particular, young people are the main cohort with the ability to learn new things and are endlessly creative . Let's start from the smallest things, for example,  the initiatives you bring to the competition today. Then from there, change your behavior and lead to the change of the whole society.”

Also, Miss Universe Viet Nam H’Hen Nie - a very active youth in the wave of green lifestyle changes and sustainable consumption, appeared at the event to inspire and call on the young generation of Viet Nam to respond to the global climate crisis. “Green lifestyle is something that needs to be done continuously, not only a few days, not only individuals but also the whole community have to change to a green lifestyle together to get results, especially when the environment and our lives  are facing the current extreme weather events.” Hen shared. “This is exactly what should be done so that all of us and our future generations can live in a safe and healthy environment.”

This contest is part of the "HCYU Central Committee participates in environmental protection, responding to climate change between 2019 and 2022" project, which was approved by the Prime Minister under Decision No. 894/QD - TTg on 17th of July, 2019 and is part of the "Youth4Climate" initiative launched by UNDP Vietnam from July 2020.

Attending the ceremony were representatives from the HCYU Central Committee, the Department of Climate Change (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), UNDP Viet Nam; Miss Universe Viet Nam H’Hen Nie; representatives from the UK Embassy and the Italian Embassy in Viet Nam; representatives from Civil Society Organisations CHANGE, GreenID, Live&Learn, WildAct and from YNet network; along with press and television reporters, youth union members and young people watching the livestream of the event on Facebook. Especially notable was the presence of a jury panel composed of  leaders and experts in the youth climate movement, and members of the TOP 10.

The finale and the award ceremony of the Y4CIC were live-streamed at the following links:


Vietnamese: or

Media inquiries:

Le Thi Dieu Linh

Communication Consultant, Youth and Climate Change 

The United Nations Development Programme in Viet Nam


Tel: 0987.812.364

Nguyen Thi Minh Chau

Specialist of the Rural Youth Department

Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee 

Email: /

Tel: 0916.263.999


  1. About the contest: 

  •  The Y4CIC was launched on May 28, 2021. After 10 weeks of the Preliminary Round, the Organizing Committee (OC) received 400 entries from 54/63 provincial youth unions. In which, Military Youth Committee won the prize for the provincial youth unions submitted the most entries.

  • The initiatives in four topics: 

  • (1) Creative communication to raise public awareness about climate change (44,9%);

  • (2) Climate mitigation (47,3%);

  • (3) Climate-responsible business strategies (14,4%);

  • (4) Climate adaptation, prioritizing Nature-based solutions (13,5%). 

  • From 400 entries, the OC has selected 109 entries with high-quality, creative and practical solutions to participate in the weekly prize (voted prize on Facebook). There are more than 1.5 million reaches and engagement on this social media platform.

  • After the Preliminary Round, the OC selected the Top 21 and they had time to finalize their submissions before the OC sends to the jury for marking. 

  • The marking criteria for Top 10 are Innovation - Practicality - Sustainability and Scalability - Implementation plan.

  • Some highlights of contestants: 

  • Age: there are 15 contestants below 16 and over 35 years old (youngest: 13 and oldest: 45). 

  • Occupation: There are 15 occupations, in which the armed forces and students dominate.

  • Gender: 36,6% female, 2% LGBTQ+.

  • Minority: 8 ethnic minorities (Tay, Nung, Kmer, Mong, San Diu, Nguon, Muong, Thai).

Vulnerable group: 16,5% of contestants living in difficult areas; 8% of contestants are ethnic minorities and 4,1% are people with disabilities.