Northern mountainous region suffers water shortage

Provinces in the northern mountain regions including Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Yen Bai and Hoa Binh are experiencing severe water shortages. This man has to travel tens of kilometers to take water from a public water tank for his family (Photo: SGGP) Muong Khuong District in Lao Cai Province is experiencing the worst drought. Local residents living in the limestone geography must carry water 10 kilometers in Din Chin and Ta Gia Khau Commune. It takes the whole day to get 20 liters at public water tanks or rivulets in the mountain. The two communes have only 3-4 rivulets which run very slowly, said Sung A Tra. Over 1,000 residents experience water shortage and losing 500 hectares of corn grounds. Residents enter the forest in search for water sources from March to May every year in Bat Xat, Muong Khuong, Si Ma Cai and Bac Ha District, said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Lao Cai Province. Besides cold snaps, local … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 21/3

Ha Noi blogger to spend 15 months in jail for slander Ha Noi blogger Pham Viet Dao has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to abusing his rights to freedom and democracy. The court ruled that his actions had infringed upon State interests, rights and legitimate interests of organisations or citizens under Article 258 of the Penal Code. The jail term will starts from the date he was detained on June 13, 2013, the court ruled. The indictment read that Dao, 62, residing in Buoi ward, Tay Ho district, authored three blogs -Phamvietdao3.blogspot.com, Phamvietdao4.blogspot.com and Chientranhtrungviet.blogspot.com - on which he posted 91 articles slandering the Party and State. At the yesterday's trial in the capital city, Dao admitted his guilt, saying his actions were a result of a lack of awareness of the law. He promised not to repeat his actions. Dao has 15 days to appeal the verdict. 200kg of black coral seized in Quang … [Read more...]

Vietnam to eliminate subsidy for fossil fuel by 2020

(VOVworld) – Vietnam will create favorable conditions to encourage businesses to take part in greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate subsidies for fossil fuel by 2020. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, businesses will play an important part in helping Vietnam realize its climate change commitments. Vietnam is encouraging businesses to develop renewable energy with incentives in solar and wind power generation. Pham Van Tan, Deputy director of the Hydro-meteorology and Climate Change Department, said: "There are many options to reduce greenhouse gases, which will reduce investments and increase effectiveness. Loans from international financial institutions for high-carbon production so businesses involved in this area should be self-supported." … [Read more...]

Vietnam preparing for extreme weather conditions

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked relevant agencies to bolster their preparations against extreme weather like typhoons, prolonged drought and massive floods, as they are forecast to hit Viet Nam heavily in the next five years. Since last year, Viet Nam has been severely suffering from the impacts of El Nino – likely to be the longest one in the last six decades – with nearly 40,000ha of agricultural land rendered inadequate for production due to a massive drought across the central region, Central Highlands and southern region. The Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and the National Committee for Search and Rescue (NCSR) are the two agencies in charge of managing collaboration between ministries and their provincial departments to draft responsive plans to such extreme weather. Since last year, Viet Nam has been severely suffering from the impacts of El Nino – likely to be the longest one in the last six decades – with nearly … [Read more...]

VFF President receives Catholic Church leader

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan hosted a reception for Chairman of the Episcopal Council of the Catholic Church of Vietnam Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc in Hanoi on February 5. Nhan wished a happy and successful New Year to his guest, who is also Archbishop of the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, the Episcopal Council and Catholic community nationwide. VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) and Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc. Photo: daidoanket.vn He also informed the clergy about the positive development of ties between Vietnam and the Vatican – particularly Party and State leaders’ visits to the Vatican, and the outcomes of meetings between Nhan himself and the Prime Minister of Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on July 1, 2015. The host spoke highly of the Pope’s message on environmental protection and recalled that the VFF, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and 14 religions in Vietnam convened a … [Read more...]

VFF President receives Vietnam Episcopal Council Chief

(VOVworld) - President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan hosted a reception for Chairman of the Episcopal Council of the Catholic Church of Vietnam Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc in Hanoi on February 5. VFF President Nguyen Thien Nhan receives Chairman of the Episcopal Council of the Catholic Church of Vietnam Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc. Nhan wished a happy and successful New Year to his guest, who is also Archbishop of the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, the Episcopal Council and Catholic community nationwide. He informed the clergy about the positive development of ties between Vietnam and the Vatican and praised the Pope’s message on environmental protection. He recalled that the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and 14 religions in Vietnam convened a national meeting to promote religions’ role in environmental protection and climate change response. Archbishop Doc thanked the Vietnam … [Read more...]

Government preparing for extreme weather conditions

HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked relevant agencies to bolster their preparations against extreme weather like typhoons, prolonged drought and massive floods, as they are forecast to hit Viet Nam heavily in the next five years. The Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and the National Committee for Search and Rescue (NCSR) are the two agencies in charge of managing collaboration between ministries and their provincial departments to draft responsive plans to such extreme weather. Since last year, Viet Nam has been severely suffering from the impacts of El Nino – likely to be the longest one in the last six decades – with nearly 40,000ha of agricultural land rendered inadequate for production due to a massive drought across the central region, Central Highlands and southern region. The weather pattern also caused water shortages that affected tens of thousands of people. El Nino was predicted to last until the end of this spring, … [Read more...]

112 – number for emergency assistance

The Hanoitimes - The Prime Minister recently approved an emergency communications project on receiving request emergency assistance on a national scale. Accordingly, people who need emergency rescue services from any part of the country will be able to call 112 number for receiving request emergency assistance. The project aims to build a general emergency communications system to receive requests for help in conformity with international practices. The objective is to improve the efficiency of search and rescue operations and limit losses. Illustrative image The Prime Minister asked the National Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control and the National Committee for Search and Rescue to help ministries, sectors and localities to build and update plans in response to specific disasters, particularly storms, floods, prolonged drought, landslides and earthquakes. The Prime Minister has also issued a directive asking all ministries, sectors and localities to … [Read more...]

Hundreds of units found violating land, environment laws

Building Complex HH1 Me Tri in downtown Ha Noi violated laws on land use and capital mobilisation. — Photo tienphong.vn HA NOI (VNS) — More than 570 out of 1,403 units searched by authorities were found to have violated laws on land, environment and minerals in 2015. This news was released in a report by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Of the illegal units, 520 were fined nearly VND61 billion (almost US$2.7 million). With regard to land law violations, most of the units were slow in implementing projects compared with their approved plans and in registering land-use certificates. Inspectors proposed collecting arrears amounting to nearly VND109 billion (some $4.9 million). Environmental officers discovered 38 per cent of 1,076 units had violated regulations against harmful waste management and were discharging untreated wastewater into the environment. The authorities collected fines of more than VND50 billion (some $2.3 million). In the mineral … [Read more...]

Call 112 in case of emergency

People who need emergency rescue services from any part of the country will be able to phone 112 for help once an emergency communications project, recently approved by the Prime Minister, is completed. Saving a fisherman in distress - Source: VNA The project’s objective is to build a general emergency communications system to receive requests for help in conformity with international practices. It also aims to improve the efficiency of search and rescue operations and minimise losses. The Prime Minister has also issued a directive asking all ministries, sectors and localities to intensify disaster prevention efforts and search and rescue missions. In the document, the Government leader asked the National Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control and the National Committee for Search and Rescue to help ministries, sectors and localities to build and update plans in response to specific disasters, particularly storms, floods, prolonged drought, landslides and … [Read more...]

Fatherland Front leader pays pre-Tet visit to VBS Supreme Patriarch

Hanoi, February 1 (VNA) – President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on February 1 visited Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), and other Buddhist dignitaries ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday. At the meeting at Vien Minh Pagoda in Hanoi’s Phu Xuyen district, Nhan wished the Most Venerable good health to continue leading the VBS, contributing to national development. The VBS has been an active member of the VFF, the Fatherland Front leader said. He recalled the national conference on religions’ role in environmental protection and climate change response in December. Forty religious organisations from 14 religions signed a cooperative programme on environmental protection with the VFF, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Buddhism is an important player in the campaign, Nhan stressed, noting his hope that the VBS will make more contributions to … [Read more...]

Customs Looks to International Standards

In the past 70 years, the customs sector has marked a significant progress to fulfil tasks assigned by the State, facilitating import-export operations, reducing customs clearance time, and making companies more dynamic in an integrating economic environment. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr Nguyen Ngoc Tuc, General Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, ahead of the Lunar New Year - Year of Money in 2016. Le Hien reports. What was the most memorable event for the customs sector in 2015? In 2015, the most notable event of the customs service was Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s press to start the National Single Window (NSW) and technically connect to the ASEAN Single Window (ASW). Accordingly, in addition to six already-connected ministries, the NSW connected with three other ministries, namely the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Information and Communications, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Besides, … [Read more...]

Government instructs to prevent damage from severe cold weather

The Hanoitimes - The Prime Minister has issued an urgent document to direct the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the People’s Committees of northern and central localities preventing damage by severe cold weather. In the recent days, due to the influence of severe cold air, the northern and northern central localities have been facing freezing cold temperatures. Frost and snow have been seen in mountainous areas with the lowest temperatures recorded in the last 40 years, causing damage to crops and cattle. According to the forecast of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecastings, prolonged severe cold may continue in the coming days and the northern mountainous provinces are likely to happen frost and snow in the mountainous region. To minimise the damage from cold weather, the Prime Minister asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and People’s Committees of provinces, cities to seriously implement the Directive on … [Read more...]

PM directs prevention against severe cold weather

Hanoi, January 26 (VNA) – The Prime Minister has sent an urgent document to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the People’s Committees of northern and central localities calling for measures to cope with the severe cold which has caused damage to the localities. The PM urged the People’s Committees to strictly follow the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development’s instructions on preventing cold and hunger for livestock during the 2015-2016 winter-spring crop. He required relevant agencies to keep a close watch on weather developments and inform people on the weather conditions to keep them active in prevention, to ensure production and minimise losses. The MARD was asked to direct localities, businesses and farmers on how to take preventive measures. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was requested to instruct the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecastings (NCHMF) to closely follow … [Read more...]

PM directs prevention against cold weather

VGP - The PM has issued Notice No.153/CD-TTg to direct relevant ministries and localities to prevent severe cold weather. Illustration photo Accordingly, the PM asked the municipal and provincial People’s Committees to follow strictly Directive No.10200/CT-BNN dated December 16, 2015 of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on preventing hunger and cold for cattle during the 2015-2016 winter-spring crop and preventing cold in aquaculture. He required relevant agencies of localities to closely forecast, update and inform people on weather conditions to keep them active in prevention, ensure production and limit loss. The MARK was asked to direct localities, businesses and farmers to take preventive measures and have appropriate cultivating and raising plans. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was requested to monitor the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecastings (NCHMF) to closely follow weather developments, give forecasts … [Read more...]

Locals in 426 mountainous areas to access clean water

Mountainous regions and areas facing a scarcity of water in 41 provinces nationwide will access groundwater resources meeting national standards of water quality, according to the National Centre for Water Resources Planning and Investigation under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. A project seeking out groundwater resources in mountainous areas facing water scarcity from 2015 to 2020 aims to bring clean water to residents in these areas, and build water resource maps. The centre’s general director Tong Ngoc Thanh said locals in target areas have been confronted with serious water shortages. This is an urgent project, Thanh stressed, adding that that it is necessary to build sustainable water supply facilities in all these areas. The project is expected to help communities manage their use of water resources and protect the environment, contributing to the National Target Programmes on Clean Water and Sanitation in rural areas and new-style rural areas … [Read more...]

Groundwater overexploitation threatens environment

Trung Chanh Dr. Adichat Surinkum (R), director of CCOP Technical Secretariat, speaks at a conference in Can Tho City on January 19. CCOP stands for the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s overexploitation of groundwater is threatening the environment - PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH Nguyen Chi Cong, deputy director general of the National Center for Water Resources Planning and Investigation (NAWAPI), told the conference on management of natural resources that underground water resources have dipped sharply and that the situation is forecast to worsen in the coming years. Cong cited statistics of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as saying that more than half the world population use groundwater for their daily activities. "Vietnam is one of the countries which mostly use underground water resources for daily use, with almost all water used in Hanoi, Hung Yen and Vinh Phuc being groundwater," Cong said. The … [Read more...]

Forum to prepare VN for implementation of 2015 Paris Agreement

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will invite heads of international development partners to a high-level policy forum in March to prepare for Viet Nam's implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The National Committee on Climate Change (NCCC) and foreign development partners will carry out the agreement, which aims to enhance the global response to climate change. It was approved by involved parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). Viet Nam's key partners, including the UN Development Programme, the UK and the Japan International Co-operation Agency, will help the country build action plans to implement the deal. Technical meetings between relevant ministries, partners and experts are scheduled during the policy forum to increase mutual understanding about the agreement's impacts on Viet Nam. The NCCC and foreign partners will reach a joint statement at the forum on methods to … [Read more...]

Experts warn coastal groundwater overused

A section of sea dyke in Nam Dinh Province's Hai Hau District. Overexploitation of groundwater by households has been blamed for an alarming drop in groundwater levels along thousands of kilometres of coast stretching from Hai Phong City to Ca Mau Province, experts say. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan Truong CAN THO (VNS) — Groundwater levels along thousands of kilometres of coast stretching from Hai Phong City to Ca Mau Province have dropped to alarming levels due to overexploitation for daily use by households. The issue was flagged up by international environmental experts and officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment at a conference on coastal water resources management and groundwater management in Southeast Asia organised yesterday in Can Tho City. Nguyen Chi Cong, deputy general director of the ministry's National Centre for Water Resources Planning and Investigation, said most provinces and cities nationwide exploited groundwater for both household … [Read more...]

Employment at Long Thanh airport prioritized for affected people

Van Nam Dong Nai is now working on compensation, resettlement and vocational training plans for affected households, which are designed to help them settle down and land a job at the multi-billion-dollar project, heard a press conference on the province’s socioeconomic performance last week. The province has reviewed nearly 5,000 households in the 5,000-hectare area where the airport will go up, and worked with local vocational schools to design suitable vocational training courses for them. The provincial government is working on two resettlement areas near industrial parks like Long Duc, Amata and Nhon Trach. In the short term, affected people can get immediate support to attend training courses so that they can find jobs at the local industrial parks. In the long run, they will be trained to work for the airport, Tran Van Vinh, vice chairman of Dong Nai Province, said at the press conference. Vinh said as the Long Thanh airport is a project of national importance, … [Read more...]