Art contest raises public awareness on turtle conservation
The restrictions implemented to combat COVID-19 in Vietnam has limited the organization of in-person communication and education events so we have focused on carrying out virtual activities instead, including a national online art competition.
On the 21st of June 2021, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) in collaboration with People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) and Humane Society International Viet Nam (HSI in Viet Nam) launched an art contest titled “Let’s Save Turtles” to create a platform for sharing knowledge and raising awareness of turtle species, their roles in ecosystems and threats to their existence. Participants were invited to submit original art pieces, both hand-crafted and digital, which centre around turtle conservation.
Overall, the contest was a huge success and we received 771 valid entries of hand-painted artwork and digital artwork from 720 participants (42 participants sent more than one artwork); they came from 50 out of 63 provinces/cities of Vietnam. The ages of participants varied from 4 to 62 years old and the 7-12 years old category had the most participants (403).
The range of artwork not only illustrated the participants’ personal experiences and viewpoints but also their awareness of aspects of turtle conservation, ecology and threats. The diversity in the ways of expression or in the materials used also surprised the organizers, with some authors using recycled materials and other environmentally friendly methods.
The 7 pieces of art with the most interactions on Facebook won an award, while the contest judges selected 7 other exceptional submissions to win separate awards. A few additional special awards were given too.
The success of the contest would not be possible without the support of provincial and local Departments of Education and Training, the Board of Directors of schools across the country, and all who have shown great interest in and helped spread the contest within their communities. We are also grateful to all the participants who submitted their work to the contest. Finally, we would like to express our sincere thanks to the European Union and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for supporting this activity.