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...]

Chilly weather upturns life in northern region

The bitter cold wave has extended for 12 more days in the northern region, resulting in students not attending schools, thousands of residents being rushed to hospitals, and hundreds of cattle dying from the frost and chill. Several people have been hospitalized due to the cold in the northern and northern region (Photo: SGGP) Several hospitals in provinces like Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Cao Bang and Lang Son and Hanoi City are crowded with patients, who have to now camp along corridors and stairways because there is no other space left. Nguyen Quoc Anh, director of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, said that the number of people coming for health checks and treatment has surged to 3,500 a day. The hospitals are working overtime to cope with the huge numbers of patients. Several schools sent nursery and primary students back to their homes after temperatures plunged below 10 degrees celsius, causing at least one of their parents to take leave to look after the children. Along streets in … [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 needs $30bn to cope with climate change in 2015-20: expert

Climate change brings about damage worth 2-6 percent of Vietnam’s GDP per year and the country needs roughly US$30 billion to cope with it in the next five years, a Vietnamese official has said. Dr. Pham Hoang Mai, head of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources, and Environment under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, released the figures at a ceremony in Hanoi on Thursday. The event was jointly held by the ministry, the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Program to announce the Climate Public Expenditure and Investment Review (CPEIR) for Vietnam. Over the past decade, climate-related disasters, particularly storms and floods, have cost Vietnam an annual average of $3-9 billion, or 2-6 percent of the country’s GDP, Dr. Mai told the ceremony, citing the figures of the Asian Development Bank. Dr. Mai also said official development assistance given by the international community to projects in Vietnam to deal with climate change and … [Read more...]

Biodiversity Day marked with sustainable development discussions

Efforts are called for conservation of biodiversity for sustainable development (Photo: VNA) The Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on May 22 held a meeting to mark the International Day for biological diversity. Addressing the event, which was themed "conservation of biodiversity for sustainable development," Deputy Head of the Administration, Nguyen The Dong, said that Vietnam is a nation of high biological diversity where global conservation efforts are prioritised. In recent years, Vietnam has achieved positive results, such as the maintenance and continued development of a widespread protected area network of nature reserves, Ramsar wetlands and biosphere reserves. However, biodiversity in the country is in regression and ecology systems have been affected strongly. Participants at the meeting agreed that to strengthen biodiversity conservation, authorised agencies should continue completing a legal framework for the … [Read more...]

Vietnam needs more action to combat climate change

VietNamNet Bridge – Viet Nam has been told to strengthen its response to climate change by including strategic investment in a low-carbon future in its planning and budgeting strategy. Illustrative image -- File photo This was the message from a Climate Public Expenditure and Investment Review for 2010-13 announced at a meeting yesterday (May 21) by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank. It was issued after the report's findings showed that the Government spent a limited amount of its own resources for climate change mitigation, including low-carbon energy generation (about VND4 billion equal to US$183,000) and energy efficiency measures (about VND76 billion equal to $348,000). In the meantime, the report said about 88 per cent of the total budget for climate-change response during 2010-13 was spent for direct activities, such as building infrastructure, building dykes to protect coast and greening forest. Nine per cent was directed towards science … [Read more...]

Conserve biodiversity for sustainable development

NDO – The United Nations has proclaimed ‘Biodiversity for Sustainable Development’ as the theme of the 2015 International Day for Biological Diversity to affirm the importance of biodiversity to socio-economic development while calling on the whole community to preserve biodiversity. Wildlife are an important part of biodiversity and are facing multiple threats of extinction from various sources, including exploitation, habitat destruction, climate change, environmental pollution, encroachment of non-native species, forest fires, and in particular, the increase of illegal wildlife trade and demand in many countries around the world. Vietnam has been acknowledged as a country with high biodiversity and many natural ecotypes. It is also home to many endangered and rare species. The Vietnamese government has realised the significance of bio-diversity conservation, not only for the environment, but also in economic, medical and social factors. Although a huge effort has … [Read more...]

Social News 22/5

Jetstar Pacific offers 7,000 cheap tickets Budget airline Jetstar Pacific will offer 7,000 tickets at only VND7,000 a ticket on its international and domestic routes, from 11am to 12:59pm on July 22. Tickets (excluding tax and other additional fees) are available on the airline’s website at www.jetstar.com. The promotion is being launched to celebrate Jetstar Pacific’s seventh anniversary. The airline will also kick off two other promotions from May 27: "Everyday Low Fare" and "Super Promotion Weekend". Vietnam Airlines started selling Jetstar Pacific’s tickets on its ticket booking system as of May 21. The co-operation between Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific aims to offer the best service to passengers. General Director of Jetstar Pacific Le Hong Ha has expressed his hope that Jetstar Pacific can change passengers’ experience of using a budget airline. Mekong Delta province prosecute 40 for cigarette smuggling Authorities in the Mekong Delta's … [Read more...]

Vietnam needs 30 bln USD for climate change response

Forest planting (Source: VNA) Vietnam needs a total of 30 billion USD for climate change response through green growth, said a report released at a meeting in Hanoi on May 21. Climate change related disasters have caused annual average cost in damages of 2-6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Climate Public Expenditure and Investment Review announced by the Ministry of Planning and Investment under the support of the World Bank (WB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report showed that the Vietnamese Government spent a limited amount of its own resources for climate change mitigation, including low-carbon energy generation (about 4 billion VND equal to 183,000 USD) and energy efficiency measures (about 76 billion VND equal to 348,000 USD). In the meantime, the report said about 88 percent of the total budget for climate-change response during 2010-13 (14.9 trillion VND) was spent for direct activities, such as … [Read more...]

Nation needs more action to combat climate change

Vietnam has been told to strengthen its response to climate change by including strategic investment in a low-carbon future in its planning and budgeting strategy. This was the message from a Climate Public Expenditure and Investment Review for 2010-13 announced at a meeting on May 21 by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank. It was issued after the report's findings showed that the Government spent a limited amount of its own resources for climate change mitigation, including low-carbon energy generation (about VND4 billion equal to US$183,000) and energy efficiency measures (about VND76 billion equal to US$348,000). In the meantime, the report said about 88% of the total budget for climate-change response during 2010-13 was spent for direct activities, such as building infrastructure, building dykes to protect coast and greening forest. Nine per cent was directed towards science and technology development and three per cent for making policies and management … [Read more...]

PM issues directive on planning land use to 2020

VGP - The PM has issued a directive adjusting the plan on land use to 2020 and devising a national land use plan for the 2016-2020 period. The directive stated that according to the 2013 Land Law, the adjustments to the land use plan to 2020 and the development of the 2016-2020 land use plan should be completed in 2015 to meet requirements in socio-economic development, national defence and security, ensuring effectiveness in extracting appropriately natural resources, protecting the environment and adapting to climate change and sea level rise. Ministries, agencies and provincial and municipal People’s Committees of centrally-governed provinces and cities should be involved resolutely in the work, it stated. To realize the above-mentioned tasks, the PM asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), other ministries, relevant agencies and People’s Committees of centrally-governed provinces and cities to focus on the work, reviewing and understanding … [Read more...]

JICA supports disaster prevention in Vietnam

Photo for illustration. (CPV) - The "Building disaster resilient societies in Vietnam (Phase II)", project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is now in its second year. The 3-year project, implemented since August 2013, has an overall goal of strengthening the resilience of society in Vietnam against water-related natural disasters by an integrated flood management (IFM) system. As the nation is celebrating the Flood, Storm and Calamity Prevention Day (May 22nd, 1946), IFM is a comprehensive approach to review all of existing development plans from the view point of flood risks and future impacts considering climate change. Therefore, the participation of various sectors is essential to formulate the plan. Although the main counterpart at central level is the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the project is conducted in close collaboration with Department of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change (DMHCC) and National Hydro-Meteorology … [Read more...]

Vietnam responds to World Oceans Day

Vietnam’s Sea and Island Week 2015 will take place from June 1-8 in response to the United Nations World Oceans Day (June 8), according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE). Various activities will be held across the countries, with main events to be hosted by the central coastal province of Quang Ngai, under the theme of "Blue Ocean, Green Planet." Vietnam was among the first nine nations responding to the World Ocean Day launched by the UN General Assembly in 2009. The country has been observing the day annually since then with a Sea and Island Week. The event aims to raise public’s awareness of the role and special importance of seas and oceans to human life and sustainable development as well as the country’s sea and island sovereignty. During the Sea and Island Week this year, the MoNRE and the Quang Ngai provincial People’s Committee will hold a meeting to celebrate the World Oceans Day and Vietnam Sea and Islands Week, a … [Read more...]

Expenditures for science, technology projects in 2015 approved

VGP – The PM has decided to allocate VND 572.59 billion from the State budget in 2015 for ministries and agencies to launch projects and programs in science and technology. The recipients include the Ministry of Science and Technology (VND459.9 billion), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (VND38.13 billion), the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology (VND1.2 billion), the Ministry of Education and Training (VND6.48 billion), the Ministry of National Defense (VND6 billion), the Viet Nam National University in Ha Noi (VND2.75 billion), the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (VND2.6 billion), the Ministry of Transport (VND3.4 billion), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (VND1.69 billion), theVietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City (VND32.1 billion), the Ministry of Health (VND1.1 billion) and the Ministry of Finance (VND15 billion). The Ministry of Science and Technology will be responsible for allocating and launching the science and … [Read more...]

Social News 20/5

Older population in need of financial assistance Almost half of the population aged 60 and above in Viet Nam is not eligible for social subsidies or participate in the country's social insurance programme. This was among the main concerns raised by participants during a May 19 conference in Ha Noi entitled, "Financial Security of Older Women" and co-organised by the Vietnam National Committee for the Elderly, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Singapore-based Tsao Foundation. Government statistics last year indicated there were more than 9.5 million elderly aged 60 and above. Of these, only 1.4 million received financial assistance for their contribution to the country's revolutionary wars. Another 1.4 million were entitled to the Government financial assistance programme for the elderly aged 80 and above, which begins by providing VND180,000 a month (US$8.5). Another two million were eligible to receive pensions, while support was given to 95,000, being provided … [Read more...]

Workshop discusses climate change anticipation

Drought caused by climate change. (Photo: VNA) Authorities and scientists gathered at a workshop in Hanoi on May 18 to launch a project on enhancing the accuracy of climate anticipation. The two day event is co-organised by the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The project, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims to provide data for developing a climate change and rising sea level scenario in Vietnam in 2015, Deputy Director of the Institute Huynh Thi Lan Huong said. It will serve as a reference for evaluating research on climate change, contributing to a more detailed and accurate climate change scenario for Vietnam, she added. Participants discussed other expected outcomes of the projects including the most updated climate change anticipation using the dynamic meteorology method, … [Read more...]

Ministries quick to draft report on climate change adaptation

Shrimp breeding farm suffers from drought (Illustrative image. Source: VNA) The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment together with relevant ministries and sectors have quickly completed Vietnam’s draft report on intended nationally-determined contributions (INDC) to coping with climate change. The ministry, in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Germany’s development cooperation organization (GIZ), held a conference in Hanoi on May 18 to discuss the draft report. Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said the parties involved in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were urged to develop the INDC report as soon as possible ahead of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 21) in Paris, France this year. The report aims to contribute to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, promoting green growth, ensuring food and energy security, and keeping the global … [Read more...]

Dishonest report on allocation of forest land to Vietnam state officials made public

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment of the southern province of Binh Phuoc has denied its responsibility in the allocation of forest land to local state officials from 2007 to 2009. In a recent report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to explain the illegal granting of land uncovered late last year by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, the department said it was fair and did not give favor to officials. The report, approved by Nguyen Phu Quoi, director of the Binh Phuoc natural resources department, defended the agency by saying that "the provincial authorities didn’t issue any documents to rule the criteria of recipients to be granted land." So, the department only based its decisions on the applications of people [including many local officials] and granted land. The natural resources department coordinated with the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and forest management units to divide forest land into plots, according … [Read more...]

Revised Housing Law hoped to boost real estate market

The revised Housing Law to take effect from July will open a door widely for foreigners to buy houses in Vietnam, which is hoped to reduce real estate inventory and warm up the market. Apartment market has drawn many foreigners' attention (Photo: SGGP) Statistics by the General Department of Land Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment showed that 427 Vietnamese settled abroad and foreigners have possessed houses in Vietnam. This number is too low compared to over 80,000 foreigners living and working in the country. Legal barriers and high property prices have blocked the housing door to many foreigners despite high inventory level. The number of foreigners and oversea Vietnamese in need of house purchase is very high but only those getting married with Vietnamese have been able to do so, according to a representative from Phu My Hung Joint Venture. Mrs. Helther from the US has become the first foreigner to get house ownership certificate at Phu My … [Read more...]