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, and - 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...]

Luxury cars subject to environment protection charge

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has proposed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the Ministry of Transport (MoT) impose an environmental protection charge on luxury motor vehicles with an engine capacity exceeding 3 liters. A Prime Ministerial decision assigned MoF to conduct research and recommend environmental charges on such vehicles as they consume large amounts of fuel and discharge large amounts of emissions into the environment. In the middle of last year environmental protection taxes on gasoline were increased by 300 per cent, from VND1,000 to VND3,000 per liter and on diesel from VND500 to VND1,500 per liter from May 1. The special consumption tax on vehicles is also to be amended. From July 1, 2016, the tax rate on vehicles of less than 1.5 liters will be cut from 40 per cent to 35 per cent and on vehicles from 1.5 to 2 liters from 45 per cent to 40 per cent. Those on vehicles with capacity from 2.5 to 3 liters, meanwhile, will increase from … [Read more...]

Vietnam, US issue joint announcement on climate change partnership

Vietnam and the United States issued a joint announcement on climate change partnership on May 23 (Vietnam time), emphasising the need to combat global climate change. A sugar cane field is damaged by drought in Tan Phu Dong district of the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang. Following is the full text of the announcement. "The Government of Vietnam, represented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam, and the Government of the United States, represented by the Department of State, fully appreciate the need to combat global climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. To this end, "Vietnam and the United States intend to work together to: "Implement the historic Paris Agreement. To reflect the importance of the international effort, both countries signed the Agreement on April 22, 2016, with the intention of joining as soon as possible this year; "Transparently implement their respective Nationally Determined Contributions in … [Read more...]

Forum urges VN to preserve biodiversity

VietNamNet Bridge – Building a platform for partnership on the conservation of biodiversity is urgently needed to accelerate collaboration among ministries, sectors and stakeholders, environmental experts have said. Building a platform for partnership on the conservation of biodiversity is urgently needed to accelerate collaboration among ministries, sectors and stakeholders. — Photo The initiative presented to a forum coorganised in Ha Noi late last week by the Viet Nam Environment Administration (VEA), the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) and the Viet Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE), was highlighted as one of the most effective solutions for the protection of biodiversity, which is increasingly under threat in Viet Nam. The purpose of the initiative was to help promote different stakeholders and partners to jointly provide technical support, policy advice, institutional capacity strengthening and … [Read more...]

US, Vietnam release joint announcement on climate change

(VOVworld) – The US and Vietnam released a joint announcement on Climate Change Partnership on May 22. The Government of Vietnam, represented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam, and the Government of the United States, represented by the Department of State, fully appreciate the need to combat global climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Drought in Vietnam's Mekong Delta A press releases by the US Department of State said Vietnam and the United States intend to work together to implement the historic Paris Agreement. Vietnam is greatly vulnerable to climate change, and the United States intends to support Vietnamese efforts to implement its Green Growth Action Plan, and strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change in both the Mekong Delta and Red River Delta through regional and bilateral cooperation. … [Read more...]

Youth volunteer campaign 2016 launched

PANO – On May 21st, in Hanoi, the summer volunteer youth campaign andthe journey 2016 "for national sea and islands" were launched by the Youth Union organization of the Central agencies. (Photo for illustration: The campaign, themed "Youths of the Central agencies joining hands to build new-styled rural areas", covers various activities, such as assisting school-leavers in the national high school exam, taking part in local socio-economic development programs, and joining localities in eliminating hunger and reducing poverty. On this occasion, the Youth Union organization in association with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, groups and individuals raised nearly VND 2 billion for Truong Sa troops and islanders. They will also plant trees on islands, hold artistic exchanges and a writing contest about Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands. Translated by Hong Anh … [Read more...]

The Government’s regular meeting – April 2016

THE GOVERNMENT ------- SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM Independence - Freedom - Happiness --------------- No. 33/NQ-CP Ha Noi, May 09, 2016 RESOLUTION THE GOVERNMENT’S REGULAR MEETING - APRIL 2016 THE GOVERNMENT Pursuant to the Law on Organization of the Government dated June 19, 2015; Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 08/2012/ND-CP dated February 16, 2012 promulgating the working regulation of the Government; Based on the discussion of the Cabinet’s members and the conclusion of the Prime Minister at the Government’s regular meeting in April 2016, held on May 04 and 05, 2016, RESOLVES: 1. Regarding the common tasks The Government's regular meeting in April 2016 was the first meeting after the Government’s consolidation since the 12th National Party Congress. In the context where the country, the world and the region have numerous advantages but also face with many difficulties and challenges while the remainder of the … [Read more...]

Companies fined USD181,800 for mass fish deaths in Thanh Hoa

The Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment issued a fine of nearly VND4bn (USD181,800) to three companies in Thanh Hoa Province on May 17 for discharging untreated wastewater which killed thousands tonnes of fish in Buoi River. A farmer is collecting dead fish at her farm on the Buoi River in Thanh Hoa Province Tan Hieu Hung Company, a cassava processing plant, Hoa Binh Sugar Cane and Sugar JSC and Pig Farm Nguyen Ngoc Sang were all fined. Tan Hieu Hung Company is accused of 12 violations on environmental regulations and was fined VND2bn (USD90,900). The operation at the plant has been suspended for 12 months from May 20. The authorities asked the company to upgrade its waste treatment and monitoring systems. The inspectors also discovered 12 violations at Hoa Binh Sugar Cane and Sugar JSC, including excessive waste water levels and a lack of an environmental monitoring programme. Hoa Binh was suspended for six months with a fine of VND1.8bn. Compensations will be negotiated … [Read more...]

PM calls for effective use of WB loans

Relevant agencies must get well prepared for receiving the remainder of the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA-17) fund allocated for Vietnam in the 2014-2017 period, according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The Prime Minister also urged all bodies to devise measures to ensure the effective use of official development assistance (ODA) and other preferential loans. The two IDA-funded projects on strengthening the management of land and building a land database, and improving teachers’ effectiveness will remain unchanged in terms of scale, according to hime conclusion. The Government leader assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to be in charge and work with the Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, and Education and Training, to submit the projects for approval. Relevant agencies are to complete necessary documents before May 20 to receive WB-funded projects in the fiscal year of 2016 in line with the Government’s … [Read more...]

Social News 18/5

Russian centre director praised for fostering relations with Vietnam An insignia was presented to the Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Hanoi, Zubtsova Elena Robertovna, on May 17 to recognise her efforts in fostering mutual understanding and cooperation between Vietnam and Russia. The insignia, named "For peace and friendship among nations", was granted by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO). VUFO Chairman Vu Xuan Hong said Zubtsova Elena Robertovna has worked in Vietnam for many years. She used to be a Russian language editor at the Voice of Vietnam, a collaborator with the Lao dong (Labour) newspaper, the head of the Russian Cooperation Agency's office in Vietnam, and a counsellor at the Russian Embassy in Vietnam. She has made significant contributions to the amity and affiliation between the two peoples, especially in science, arts, culture and education, Hong added. She has also assisted activities held by the Vietnam - Russia … [Read more...]

Vietnam studies groundwater-related subsidence in major areas

Hanoi, May 16 (VNA) - The Prime Minister approved a project on studying the impact of groundwater use to land subsidence in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. The project will give insight into the management of groundwater exploitation and locations of depleted groundwater. It will also assess the condition of land subsidence and its relation to groundwater use. Based on these findings, measures to address the issue will be suggested. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is in charge of the project. Vietnam is among the countries that rely mostly on groundwater with exploitation increasing. According to the ministry’s National Centre for Water Resources Planning and Investigation, most provinces and cities nationwide exploited groundwater for both household and business use. The groundwater exploited daily in the country is five million cubic metres a day and is predicted to rise further to meet new demands thrown up by urbanisation and … [Read more...]

Smart water use contest launched in HCM City

A contest entitled "Water and Life" was launched at a ceremony in HCM City on May 14 to call for initiatives and solutions on sustainable water use and management. The contest is jointly organised by the General Department of Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee’s HCM City chapter. Drought-hit area Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Director of the General Department Nguyen The Dong expressed his hope that the contest will gather initiatives from the young generation to address with the impacts of climate change in the southern region. General Development Officer at USAID Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City Stephen F.Berlinguette said the contest presents opportunities for the Vietnamese young people to contribute their part to the community improvement. Individuals or groups, aged between 16-25, can send their feasible solutions to enhancing the effective use and management of water from May … [Read more...]

Sugar plant takes responsibility for dead fish in Buoi River

Hoa Binh Sugar Company has taken responsibility for discharging untreated wastewater into Buoi River causing dead fish in the north central province of Thanh Hoa. At a meeting with leaders of Thach Thanh district, Thanh Hoa province yesterday afternoon, the company promised to compensate for 34 fish farmers’ damage with the total fund of VND1.4 billion (US$63,000) by May 18 at the latest. Authorized agencies have inspected the fish death but yet to make an official conclusion. In related news, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has made a decision to comprehensively inspect production establishments on their observance of environmental protection law in the upper reaches of Buoi River, Tan My commune, Lac Son district, the northern province of Hoa Binh. The inspection will take place in 45 days starting May 12, 2016. According to the decision, inspectors from institutes and agencies under the ministry will unexpectedly take water samples for testing and … [Read more...]

Ministry inspects mass fish deaths on Buoi River

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has sent an inspection team to analyse the waste water treatment systems at three companies following the mass fish deaths on the Buoi River in Thanh Hoa Province. Fish died en mass on the Buoi River in Thanh Hoa Province The group, led by Luong Duy Hanh, chief inspector from the Vietnam Environment Administration, will work for 45 days beginning May 12 at the Hoa Binh Sugar Cane and Sugar Joint Stock Company, Hoa Binh Cassava Processing Plant and a local pig farm. The inspection group will work with local authorities in Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa Provinces and various agencies including the Institute of Environmental Technology and the Academy of Science and Technology to take and study the water samples from the Buoi and Bang rivers, and check the waste water treatment systems at the three facilities. Dozens of fish farming households in Thach Thanh District, Thanh Hoa Province are facing huge losses as their fish all died since May … [Read more...]

Social News 12/5

HCM City needs VND2 trillion for flood control projects this year The Steering Center for Flood Control of HCMC (SCFC) has said the city will need at least VND2 trillion (US$89.8 million) to fund flood control projects this year. The center said that of the 56 projects planned for dealing with flood-prone streets in the city, a dozen projects would get underway this year and three would be completed by 2017. Eight projects were completed in 2015. Projects expected to reduce flooding at hotspots in the rainy season last year included a drainage system for Do Xuan Hop Street in District 9, improvement of a drainage system for the Kinh Duong Vuong Street section from Phu Lam to An Lac Roundabout, dredging Dong Tien Canal in District 12, the first phase of a drainage system improvement and pollution reduction project for Tham Luong-Ben Cat-Rach Nuoc Len Canal. SCFC said dredging of a drainage channel from Tan Son Nhat airport to Nguyen Kiem Street, construction of a drainage system … [Read more...]

Incidents indicate industrial waste management failings

The recent massive fish deaths and waste water discharge in the central coastal region have demonstrated that industrial waste management is a worrisome problem, an official told a workshop held yesterday in Hà Nội. Mass fish death at the Nước Trong reservoir in Sơn Hà District of the central Quảng Ngãi Province. Although the official cause of the mass fish deaths has yet to be released, the public suspects that steel and thermo-electricity projects along the coastline have had a direct impact on sea water. - Photo Addressing the Industrial Waste: Weaknesses in Management and Policy Recommendations workshop organised by PanNature, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Prof. Đặng Hùng Võ, cited the case related to the Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Corporation (FHS) in the Vũng Áng Economic Zone in the central Hà Tĩnh Province. Even within a similar management body, there existed different judgments about whether FHS should have been permitted to release … [Read more...]

Quang Ngai inspects water quality in cancer hamlet

Head of the Vietnam Environment Administration Nguyen Van Tai has signed a document instructing the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in the central province of Quang Ngai to urgently test water quality and pollution in Phuoc Thien hamlet, where hundreds of people have contracted and died of cancer The hamlet is located in Binh Hai commue, Binh Son district. According to media reports, hundreds of people have died of cancer since 2000 and the number of cancer sufferers has been on the rise with average age quite young. Locals have raised doubts about water source pollution. The administration hence has required the department to analyze water samples and make an announcement on local water quality. Testing results must be sent to the administration before May 20. In related news, a delegation from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has worked with the People’s Committee of Thanh Hoa province and related agencies on the heavy pollution in the Buoi … [Read more...]

Gov’t issues April regular resolution

VGP – Stable interest rates, interest rate cuts, organizations of national high school graduation and university entrance exams, assessment of environmental protection, and protection of the upcoming National Assembly and People’s Council elections were detailed in the Government’s regular meeting in April. Illustration photo According to the Government’s regular April Resolution, ministries, agencies, and localities were asked to realize the preset goals for socio-economic development in 2016; continue to stabilize the macro-economy in favor of long-term growth, job generation, higher income and living standards, striving for a GDP growth rate of 6.7% and an inflation rate of under 5%. Stabilizing interest rate floor and cutting lending interest rates The Government tasked the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to supervise the financial and monetary markets; regulate the monetary and credit policies in a flexible and active manner in combination with … [Read more...]

Red River project yet to be considered

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has just issued an official note regarding the draft blueprint for a transportation and hydroelectric project on the Hong (Red) River of Hanoi, affirming that the Government has not started the process of approving the project yet. The reason cited was because there is not adequate legal foundation for the approval. The Government also asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to co-ordinate with relevant industries and ministries to build a master plan for the Red River to ensure sustainable development. A view of Long Bien bridge accross the Hong (Red) River in Hanoi. Source: vnexpress The building of the plan must be conducted carefully with the participation of relevant localities, scientists, research organisations and agencies, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other social and political organisations representing the people living in the Red River area. Xuan Thien Co., Ltd proposed a trans-Asia waterway and hydropower project … [Read more...]