As sea waters slowly rose around his temple and his neighbours fled inland, Thai abbot Somnuek Atipanyo refused to budge and is today a symbol of the fight to restore the country's fast-eroding coastlines. A dangerous combination of climate change, industrial farming and rapid urbanisation are endangering the Gulf of Thailand's coasts, stripping away precious mangrove trees and leaving some buildings like the temple at Samut Chin surrounded by sea water AFP A dangerous combination of climate change, industrial farming and rapid urbanisation are endangering the Gulf of Thailand's coasts, stripping away precious mangrove trees and leaving some buildings like Somnuek's surrounded by sea water. In the 30 years since the waters started encroaching, most of his neighbours in the fishing village of Samut Chin moved several hundred meters inland to rebuild their wooden homes. Standing in his saffron robes near his monastery on stilts -- dubbed the "floating temple" -- the … [Read more...] about Against the tide: Thai ‘floating temple’ defies coastal erosion
The scientific world journal
The event aims to raise the awareness and responsibility of the community for the protection, exploitation and sustainable development of water resources, as well as improve the response to natural disasters and adaptation to climate change. To aptly organise for the response events, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) hosted a meeting in Hanoi on March 5 to discuss plans for observing World Water Day (March 22) and World Meteorological Day (March 23) in 2019. Accordingly, the activities set to be organised include the launching ceremony to respond to World Water Day and Vietnam International Water Week 2019 as well as scientific seminars and communication activities in Hanoi. At local level, the MONRE proposed that the local People's Committees direct their Departments of Natural Resources and Environment to preside over and coordinate with relevant units to develop plans to organise appropriate activities to respond to World Water Day 2019, featuring meetings … [Read more...] about Vietnam to observe World Water Day on March 22
A Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world's first genetically edited babies has defended his work. Speaking at a genome summit in Hong Kong, He Jiankui said he was "proud" of altering the genes of twin girls so they could not contract HIV. His work, which he announced earlier this week, has not been verified. Many scientists have condemned his announcement. Such gene-editing work is banned in most countries, including China. Professor He's university - the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen - said it was unaware of the research project and would launch an investigation. It said Mr He had been on unpaid leave since February. Prof He confirmed the university was not aware, adding he had funded the experiment by himself. What has the scientist claimed? Prof He announced earlier this week that he had altered the DNA of embryos - twin girls - to prevent them from contracting HIV. On Wednesday, he spoke at the Human Genome Editing Summit at the … [Read more...] about He Jiankui defends ‘world’s first gene-edited babies’
An individual of the endangered red-shanked douc langurs (Pygathrix nemaeus)in the Sơn Trà Nature Reserve. — Photo courtesy of Bùi Văn TuấnViet Nam News Sơn Trà Nature Reserve is in Đà Nẵng. It is a home to red-shanked douc langurs. Bùi Văn Tuấn enjoys exploring the reserve where he is part of a study group that counted one thousand three hundred langurs in the reserve. Bùi Văn Tuấn and his colleagues spent a year following them. Having graduated with a degree in biology and environmental studies from the Đà Nẵng Teachers’ Training College, Bùi Văn Tuấn has explored remote forests across central Việt Nam to conduct his scientific research on primate species and their diets, as well as the rich forest biodiversity of the region. The 4,439ha Sơn Trà Nature Reserve in Đà Nẵng has been his favourite … [Read more...] about Counting langurs in the forests
VietNamNet Bridge - Educators agree that Vietnam’s universities need to be accredited, but they have not reached a consensus on how it should be done. There are 16 university ranking organizations, including the four most prestigious – THE (Times High Education), QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities), and Webometrics (Webometrics Ranking of World Universities). According to Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc, none of the rankings is ‘perfect’ and Vietnam needs to use the one suited to it. ARWU, for example, attaches importance to scientific articles published in international journals. QS doesn’t put much emphasis on articles, but pays attention to comments by experts and society. Agreeing with Phuc, deputy director of the Hanoi National University Nguyen Huu Duc said that ARWU and THE are not suited to most universities in Asia and developing countries. The weak point of Vietnamese … [Read more...] about University accreditation: ‘a game of the rich’?