“Active for the protection of the environment in Southeast Asia” was the motto under which the competition  “Green Champion for Southeast Asia” was launched at the DAAD Alumni Meeting 2017 on “Environment and Health” in Hanoi. The aim of the competition was to persuade the DAAD Alumni in Southeast Asia to make an active commitment to environmental protection with their own projects, thus making the alumni meeting itself sustainable. Three projects of DAAD Alumni from Vietnam and Cambodia were awarded for their engagement at another Alumni meeting in May 2018.

The winners were invited by the Federal Foreign Office for an information tour on sustainability to Germany. During their stay from 7-13 October 2018 in Berlin and Potsdam, the participants visited, among others, the Federal Environment Agency, the Berlin City Cleaners, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as well as the Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research (IASS). Thereby, the six DAAD Alumni received an exciting insight into the German environmental policy.

The participants also found great interest in sustainability projects such as the “Original Unverpackt” supermarket, where food is sold without any packaging, and the Kulturdachgarten “Klunkerkranich”, which combines the concept of urban horticulture with the typical Berlin bar culture on the roof of a shopping center.

The information tour was a great success for everyone who was involved. This is particularly confirmed by the positive feedback of the DAAD Alumni Nguyen Ngoc Minh and Nguyen Minh Phuong from the Vietnam National University (VNU). “One people can do small things, many people can do great things, and if all people act for the environment, a cleaner and healthier world will be an obvious result. We hope the DAAD Green Champions will be kept going forward, and it will become a highlight annual event of DAAD in South East Asia.”