Social News 14/5
Youngest Vietnamese heart transplant patient goes home
Nguyen Thanh Dat, who is believed to be the youngest Vietnamese patient to undergo a successful heart transplant, went home today (May 12) after nearly two months of hospital stay, said official at the Vietnam-Germany Hospital.
We are indebted to the doctors and the team at Vietnam-Germany Hospital, said family members. They've given Dat a new lease on life. We are all so very excited to be going home now.
Associate Professor Nguyen Huu Uoc, head of the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Department of the Hospital, said the young patient was diagnosed with myocardial expansion due to final-stage heart failure.
On March 15, doctors at Hospital successfully performed heart transplant surgery on the young man, which was the only treatment that would save his life, he added. The ten-year old is now in stable condition and his prognosis is good.
Vietnamese lass wins national letter writing contest
Imagining herself as an advisor to the new UN Secretary-General, young eighth grade student Nguyen Do Huyen Vy from the province of Bac Ninh,wrote a letter advising him of the world issue she would tackle first.
This topic for the 46th UPU International Letter-Writing Competition was chosen to celebrate the election of the new UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, who took office in 2017.
In her letter, Vy chose the world issue of war refugees.
She also advised on solutions for helping the UN Secretary General solve the problem, which included a recommendation to buy islands for refugees from war-torn countries among other recommendations to overcome the consequences of war.
The letter was written and submitted to the Vietnam Universal Postal Union as part of the national competition. Vy’s letter was chosen the best and has now been forwarded to the International Bureau.
Each member country's best letter was required by the competition rules to have been submitted to the International Bureau in Bern Switzerland no later than May 5, 2017, where the entries will nowbe judged as part of the international competition.
APEC moves to boost sustainable urbanisation amid globalisation
Representatives from APEC member economies and relevant international organisations gathered in Hanoi on May 14 to discuss ways to boost sustainable urbanisation in the context of globalisation and climate change.
Opening the APEC Dialogue on Sustainable Urbanisation, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Construction Phan Thi My Linh said that the Asia-Pacific region is now home to 42 percent of the world’s population, with 1.8 billion people living in urban areas.
“The management of the urban transformation is an important and difficult task for the member economies, particularly in the context of globalisation and climate change,” she noted.
Linh cited Vietnam as an example, saying that after 30 years of reform, the country has made important achievements in urbanisation.
The urban system has developed rapidly in terms of number and quality, with urbanisation rate increasing from 19.6 percent with 629 urban areas in 2009 to about 36.6 percent with 802 urban areas in 2016.
The urban sector produces about 70 percent of the country’s total GDP, bringing about much values in industrial production, export and import, science and technology progress and exerting spreading impacts of social economic development to the region and the country.
However, like many other developed economies, urbanisation in Vietnam has faced many difficulties and challenges, such as the rapid and hot urbanisation overpasssing the management capacity of local administrations, the inconsistant development between technical and social infrastructure, uncontrolled migration, social disparity as well as new arising global problems like climate change and sea level rising.
Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, who is SOM Chair, stated that together with the increasing urbanisation and its role in social economic development, there are many associated problems and challenges of high levels of impacts on the environment and people.
“They require changes in urban development and management approaches,” he said, stressing the need for multi-sector and integrated strategies and solutions to support well-managed urban development, problem-solving and innovation toward sustainable and inclusive development.
The dialogue, held within the framwork of the second APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings, focuses on discussing institutional framework and policy for sustainable urban development and urbanisation, linkages in regional urban development towards sustainability, urban housing development adaptive to climate change, and development models of energy efficiency and green growth.
A set of policy recommendations are expected to be formulated from presentations and discussions at the dialogue, which could be refered to while developing the urban agenda in each APEC member economies.
Human resources help APEC become driving force for global economy
As a dynamic region with rapid economic growth for many decades, the Asia-Pacific region has become a primary driving force for the global economy thanks to its abundant human resources with high skills which are effectively combined with quality institutional frameworks and close collaboration among member economies, said a Vietnamese official.
In his opening remark at the 42nd Plenary Meeting of the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG), Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep said the high quality human resources are increasingly important for the development of each country since both the world and region is experiencing huge changes under the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution, especially digital technology.
“Our urgent task is to promote regional cooperation, study and make timely assessments on the impacts of digital technology on human resources development, based on which proposing pioneer solutions to increase the adaptability of the labour force in the digital age,” he said.
Diep expressed his hope that the meeting would focus discussion on the Framework of Human Resources Development in the Digital Age for consensus.
If approved, this will be the outcome document of the APEC High-level Policy Dialogue on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age, with significant contributions to the development of high quality human resources, enhancement of job quality and connection among people in the APEC region, he added.
The Deputy Minister went on to say that this also contributes to creating a new driving force for building a shared future of a dynamic, cohesive and prosperous APEC community as well as constructing Asia-Pacific partnership for sustainable and comprehensive development in the 21st century.
Talking with Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, Christina Maria Schonleber, Vice Director (International Secretariat) of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), said the fourth industrial revolution will benefit the labour market, especially in the digital age, and create opportunities for skill development with the assistance of new technologies.
The development of the digital age will lay a foundation for development in the future, she said, adding that the labour market needs to develop further, particularly enhancing transnational connections and expanding vocational training.
Established in 1990, the HRDWG has conducted work programmes on developing human resources, touching on issues ranging from education to labour and capacity building. In addition, the HRDWG has responsibility to help build cultural awareness and promote gender quality.
Sixth working day of SOM 2 and related meetings
The second APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 2) and related meetings entered the sixth working day in Hanoi on May 14 with meetings and workshops focusing on urbanisation, science-technology and the internet economy, among others.
The SOM Friends of the Chair (FotC) on Urbanisation will host an APEC Dialogue on Sustainable Urbanisation, while the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) will hold a Workshop on APEC Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The fourth Meeting of the Ad-hoc Steering Group on the Internet Economy (AHSGIE 4) and the second Meeting of the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI 2) will be organised.
Meanwhile, the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) will convene its plenary meeting. Also on May 14, there will be a Project Management Training Workshop.
Up to 49 meetings, workshops and dialogues of APEC committees and working groups have been held to prepare contents for SOM 2 scheduled to take place on May 17-18.
Party chief meets with Hanoi voters
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with constituents in Ba Dinh, Tay Ho and Hoan Kiem districts, Hanoi, on May 13 in preparation for the third session of the 14th National Assembly.
The capital’s constituents applauded the drastic leadership and management of the Party Central Committee, Politburo and Government over the past time, saying the efforts have created positive changes in social spheres.
Many expressed their belief in the Party’s determination to combat corruption and other negative phenomena, saying recent disciplinary measures against several senior officials proved that there is no “prohibited” area and discrimination on the grounds of positions and rankings.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong hailed the constructive opinions of voters.
After informing the main contents of the third sitting of the 14th National Assembly, the Party chief spared time exchanging issues of voters’ concerns.
He said law building is one of the core and fundamental tasks of the National Assembly. The legislature is not only the highest State power organ but also the highest representative agency of the people.
Therefore, it needs to include representatives from all social strata as well as ethnic groups and religion, to ensure the voice of the entire people in making law, he stressed.
The number of full-time law makers should be increased, experience from foreign countries be learned and the public opinions be listened in the work, he noted.
He thanked the constituents for advocating the Party Central Committee’s deeds to build a stronger and more transparent Party.
The prevention of corruption, negative phenomena and wastefulness in recent time has seen major strides, especially in 2016 when many serious cases were brought to light, he added.
He shared with the constituents’ opinions that the outcome of preventing and combating corruption and negative phenomena over the past time has yet lived up to the public expectations, and should be stepped up in the coming time.
“There are a lot of things to do. This is an arduous struggle that requires patience and high determination”, he said, but adding that the Vietnamese law and policies are strict but also humanitarian.
Regarding the State apparatus and personnel work, he said the Party Central Committee will hold a conference to discuss how to arrange and evaluate officials.
Pertaining to the punishment of violating Party members, the Party chief said it is essential to increase vigilance over provocative information on whether the punishment is hard or soft.
The Party Central Committee has considered the punishment calmly, objectively, comprehensively, and thoroughly and will push ahead with the disciplinary measures according to law, responsibility and morality.
He also took note of the voters’ concerns about other issues such as measures to assist the consumption of farm produce, environmental protection, State-run businesses restructuring, public and bad debts.
Khau Pha paragliding festival kicks off in Yen Bai
The Khau Pha Paragliding Festival kicked off in Mu Cang Chai district in the northwestern province of Yen Bai on May 13.
More than 100 paragliders are participating in the event as part of the Yen Bai Tourism Year in response to the 2017 National Tourism Year held in Lao Cai and northwestern provinces.
Khau Pha is one of the longest mountain passes in Vietnam, with a height of more than 1,200 meters above the sea level, providing a breathtaking view of stunning natural scenery.
It is rated as one of the four most beautiful paragliding sites in Vietnam and among the top five most beautiful flying spots in the world.
Jointly organized by the People’s Committee of Mu Cang Chai district and Hanoi Vietwings parachute club, the festival is taking place between May 13-14 and May 20-21.-
Vietnam, RoK eye cooperation in water treatment, environment
A forum took place in HCM City on May 12 to exchange views on policies and enhance cooperation between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea in applying advanced technology in water treatment and environment.
The Vietnam-RoK cooperation in environmental industry forum was co-held by the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) and the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute.
According to Duong Trung An, Director of the VEA’s Department of Policy and Legislation, 283 industrial parks in Vietnam discharge more than half a million cubic metres of wastewater per day and only few of them have a wastewater treatment system.
About 3 million cubic metres of wastewater has also been dumped daily by 800 urban areas across the country, a majority of which has not been treated, signaling the country’s urgent need for investment in water treatment and the environment, he said.
He added that many incentives have been adopted to encourage the RoK’s investment in the field.
At the forum, Korean firms introduced to attendees advanced technologies in water treatment and environment protection.
Econity company suggested the Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Filtration technology which is used for industrial wastewater treatment by Samsung and quite popular in the US, Italy, and West Asia. Meanwhile, DongMyung company presented about the application of technology for detecting gas leak and recover gas release at gas stations.
They expressed their hope to partner with Vietnam to popularise these technologies in the country.
Tran Phong, Head of the Southern Environment Protection Department, noted that environmental industry is a new concept in Vietnam while the RoK has years of experience in the field. He believed that the RoK will transfer its technologies to help Vietnam resolve problems in water treatment and the environment.
Regional legislatures called to do more in climate change response
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) symposium for Asia-Pacific wrapped up in Ho Chi Minh City on May 13, calling on legislatures to take stronger actions to cope with climate change, via promoting their legislative and supervisory role and increasing regional and international cooperation.
Addressing the closing ceremony, Vice Chairwoman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Tong Thi Phong summarized the main contents of the event which underlines climate change as one of the biggest threats to sustainable development, especially in the Asian-Pacific region.
Participants discussed measures to promote the role of lawmakers in tackling environmental changes and implementing national commitments to realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the spirit “no one is left behind”.
They stressed the role of the IPU in boosting the integration of SGDs into law-building programmes as well as examining and deciding important issues relating to the field.
Phong said a self-assessment toolkit built by the IPU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was launched at the event with comprehensive and specific criteria to help legislatures evaluate their progress and quality of implementing commitments to achieve SDGs.
She called on countries to strengthen coordination with the UN agencies to increase the capacity of legislators in accelerating the implementation of SDGs.
Participants also spared time elaborating the impacts of climate change on the public health and food security.
They proposed legislatures provide more assistance for needy people and such vulnerable groups as women and children.
Phong suggested intensifying inspection and ensuring the distribution of budget and necessary financial resources to implement national commitments to obtain SDGs, while encouraging international organizations and developed countries to support developing ones.
Secretary General of the IPU Martin Chungong urged legislatures to strengthen solidarity and cooperation towards SDGs.
Later, Nguyen Van Giau, Chairman of the Vietnam National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations hosted a press conference informing the outcomes of the symposium. He remarked that the event was a success, looking to foster the law-making body’s role in pushing actions to respond to climate change to realize sustainable development goals.
The IPU symposium took place in HCM City from May 11-13 with three plenary sessions, focusing discussions on the role of legislatures in realizing SDGs and the mobilization of financial resources for these goals. It gathered 200 delegates from parliaments in 22 Asian-Pacific countries, and representatives from international organizations.
Poland’s Constitution Day celebrated in HCM City
Ambassador of Poland to Vietnam Barbara Szymanowska was present at a get-together marking the Constitution Day in Poland in Ho Chi Minh City on May 12.
Constitution Day commemorates the enactment of the Polish Constitution that came into effect on May 3, 1791. The Constitution is the first in Europe and the second in the world after the US.
Ambassador Barbara Szymanowska said the Constitution Day is a big event in Poland’s history, marking a milestone in the Polish nation’s development.
She noted that geographical distance is not a deterrent to the special bonds between Poland and Vietnam over the past 67 years.
Many Vietnamese are living in Poland and more and more Polish people have found they are attached with Vietnam, the diplomat said, referring to them as a bridge to foster mutual understanding and good sentiments between the two people.
Nguyen Dang Cuong, President of the Vietnam-Poland Friendship Association’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter, noted that Poland is among the first foreign countries that recognized and set up diplomatic ties with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
The two countries have been tied by a faithful friendship despite geographical distance, he said.
Government urged to ask for Lao Pak Beng hydropower project suspension
Many scientists have asked the Vietnamese Government to propose Laos to suspend its Pak Beng hydropower project to wait for thorough assessment of the project’s possible impacts on areas in the lower Mekong River.
They made the request at a seminar held by the Vietnam National Mekong Committee in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on May 12. The event aimed to consult experts in Vietnam’s southern localities about Laos’s Pak Beng hydropower project on the mainstream Mekong River.
The project is located in Pak Beng district of the Lao province of Oudomxay. It is the first of the 11 hydropower dams planned to be built on the mainstream Mekong River, including nine in Laos and two in Cambodia.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha, who is also Chairman of the Vietnam National Mekong Committee, said located at the end of the Mekong River, Vietnam is keeping a close watch on hydropower projects on the mainstream of the river. It is deeply concerned about their impacts on the environment, socio-economic situation and livelihoods of 20 million residents in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
Accumulated impacts, resulted by the increase of water use in the upper river and climate change, reached their peak in the Mekong Delta with drought and saltwater intrusion in the dry season of 2016, along with serious land erosion and subsidence in numerous places, especially along the Vam Nao River in Cho Moi district, An Giang province, in late April, he added.
Prof. and Dr Nguyen Ngoc Tran, former Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for External Affairs, said the provided report on the Pak Beng hydropower project’s impacts only took into account statistics of six years – a too short period of time to make a trustworthy assessment of the project’s impacts.
He said this project will negatively influence the Mekong Delta a lot, asking Laos to suspend the construction of this dam to make another report giving more comprehensive evaluation of the project’s impacts.
Notably, the Pak Beng project is situated in an earthquake prone area, Tran said, noting that many earthquakes with 6-7 magnitudes were recorded in areas near Pak Beng from 1935 to 2011. Earthquake will influence the dam’s safety, but this problem hasn’t been included in the provided report.
Echoing the view, Dr Vu Ngoc Long from the Southern Institute of Ecology said the current report on the project lacks reliable data and an evaluation of cross-border impacts.
MA Nguyen Huu Thien, an independent researcher on the Mekong Delta, attributed land erosion in the Mekong Delta mostly to a shortage of mud and sand. Meanwhile, the Pak Beng project’s biggest impact is on alluvium and sand sources, and it is just one of the 11 planned dams on the mainstream Mekong River.
Frequent tests early detect hypertension: Minister
Healthcare units, especially at local level, should frequently check blood pressure for people aged above 18 to early notice risks of hypertension, which is dubbed “the silent killer”, said the health minister.
Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien made the statement during a ceremony to mark World Hypertension Day (May 17) in Phu Linh Commune, Soc Son district, Hanoi on May 13.
Tien said approximately 12 million Vietnamese adults, or about one of every five people, are living with high blood pressure. Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke and heart attack which lead to death, paralysis and other disabilities and daily living problems, she noted.
The number of people with high blood pressure in Vietnam has rapidly grown as a consequence of unhealthy diet, exercise negligence and consumption of tobacco and alcohol, the minister noted.
She urged the healthcare sector to coordinate with relevant state agencies in developing policies and regulations to control the disease-related risks and promote a healthy lifestyle among the people.
In addition, local authorities should design programmes for the prevention of high blood pressure and accelerate communications campaigns to raise public awareness on the issue.
A representative from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested that the Government of Vietnam and local authorities should support people to lead a healthy lifestyle, for example, by creating a smoke free environment and ensuring safe and clean foods.
Making regular blood pressure check is the simplest way to early spot hypertension, especially for people aged above 40, the Ministry of Health advised.
The Vietnam National Heart Institute took the occasion to provide medical checkups and consultation for the locals at Phu Linh commune.
Nguyen Minh Viet tastes victory, lead place unchanged
Nguyen Minh Viet of southern Binh Duong province finished first the third stage of the Return to Countryside An Giang cycling tournament on May 12.
Viet completed the 120km stage from Thu Dau Mot City, Binh Duong to Kien Tuong town of Long An province with a time of 3hr 6.16min.
He was followed by Yoeun Phi Yuth of Cambodia and Nguyen Minh Luan of Premium Cycling Vinh Long.
After stage four, Quang Van Cuong from Gao Hat Ngoc Troi An Giang remained the tour leader, clocking 6:48.34.
The green jersey belongs to Yuth with 49 points.
Gao Hat Ngoc Troi An Giang are on top of the team ranking. Cambodia and Premium Cycling Vinh Long came second and third, respectively.
The fourth stage on May 13 is from Kien Tuong to Hong Ngu Town of Dong Thap province on 108km.
Workshop seeks measures to boost sustainability of APEC cities
A workshop on developing the methodology for measuring and realising the sustainability of cities in the APEC region took place in Hanoi on May 13 as part of the APEC 2017 Second Senior Officials Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings.
The event aims to help cities in APEC economies solve the environmental issues caused by rapid economic growth and urbanisation.
Participants discussed the development of sustainable cities, especially resources circulation and waste management, as well as shared their economies’ experience in environmental protection.
According to Phan Thi Hien, deputy head of the Environmental Protection Division under the Da Nang Department of Natural Resources and Environment, her locality has taken effective measures to protect the environment, mobilising the engagement of local residents, tourists and organisations in the action.
To prepare for the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, Da Nang will try its best to create a clean environment so as to promote the image of a future environmental city to the international community, especially tourists, she said.
Sharing Singapore’s experience in this field, Dr. Malone Lee Lai Choo, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities of the School of Design & Environment under the National University of Singapore, said that her country has tried to make improvements in the environment for almost 40-50 years.
“We have cleaned up rivers and seriously implemented environmental laws and regulations to ensure polluters can be aware of their actions’ impacts,” she said, adding that Singapore has also developed waste management and stopped dumping wastes.
She emphasised the importance of the engagement of the residents and the partnership between the government, businesses and people in improving the environment.
APEC representatives talk start-ups for youth, women and athletes
Representatives from APEC member economies met in Hanoi on May 13 to discuss education and start-ups for youth, women and athletes.
Opening the APEC 2017 Workshop on Linking Education and Start-ups: Youth, Women and Athletes, Le Thi Hoang Yen, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Sports Administration under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said APEC now focuses on linking education and promoting start-ups for youth, women and athletes, in order to serve its common target of building a dynamic, sustainable and harmonious Asia-Pacific community.
She appreciated all ideas which help promote and support post-retirement life for female athletes, thus contributing to the overall economic development in the region.
She expressed her hope that after the workshop, the APEC member economies could promulgate some suitable and effective policies in this field.
The workshop discussed government policies that are important for advancing the comprehensive education of athletes and female athletes in particular. Thanks to these policies, athletes will have a well-rounded education that supports their future career development.
Delegates shared the best practices of APEC economies in youth start-ups as well as the uses for the APEC Sports Policy Network (ASPN)’s 2018 sports newsletters which are designed to be published in April, July and October in 2018.
The workshop formed part of the APEC 2017 Second Senior Officials Meeting (SOM2) and related meetings.
Moroccan Ambassador asked to enhance business linkages
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh has asked Moroccan Ambassador to Vietnam Azzeddine Farhane to promote linkages among businesses in the fields of trade, tourism, finance and banking.
During a meeting with the ambassador in Hanoi on May 12, Minh spoke highly of the diplomat’s efforts to successfully organise numerous cooperation activities between Vietnamese and Moroccan research institutes and universities during the first six months of his tenure.
He took this occasion to thank Morocco for supporting Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.
The Deputy PM suggested that the two countries should increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, saying Vietnam expects to welcome the Moroccan King on his official visit to the country.
The ambassador affirmed that Morocco will continue supporting Vietnam at regional and international forums.
He also expressed his wish to maintain regular contact with Vietnam through existing cooperation mechanisms such as the inter-governmental committee and political consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
Project to strengthen protection for vulnerable children
This information was revealed by the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and Save the Children on May 12.
The project, running from 2017 – 2019, is expected to benefit 55,000 children and 48,000 teachers, school managers, childcare workers, volunteers and families in the districts of Binh Tan, Thu Duc, Go Vap and Cu Chi.
Under the project, the beneficiaries will be provided with training courses to enhance their capacity in child protection and ensure that disadvantaged and migrant children will be able to access to quality formal education.
It will also work to stop physical violence and abuse against children in schools and communities by operating a monitoring mechanism with the participation of children and parents.
The project is hoped to promote engagement of relevant agencies, social organisations and residents in protecting vulnerable children from abuse and exploitation.
Ho Chi Minh City has the second highest number of under-16 children across the country, said Nguyen Thi Lien, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
It is also home to 135,000 migrant children, 17,000 disadvantaged kids and 3,000 others living in child care centres, she said, adding that the project is expected to promote child protection in the city.
Regional legislators learn about climate change impacts in HCM City
Leaders of parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) made fact-finding trips to some areas in Ho Chi Minh City on May 12 to learn about climate change impacts.
Joining the trips, which formed part of an IPU symposium on response to climate change, were Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, IPU President Saber Chowdhury, IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong, and about 200 representatives from the parliaments of 24 regional countries and international organisations.
The delegates visited Dan Xay residential area, which is often inundated by tidal surges and has been suffered from land erosion. Although the area is part of the Can Gio protective forest – a world biosphere reserve, unplanned land reclamation for house building there has influenced the recovery and development of the submerged forest ecosystem.
The parliamentarians were briefed on to HCM City’s response to the problem, which is resettling households to safer places. The resettlement is meant to protect the Can Gio forest while improving local residents’ material and spiritual life.
After visiting the Dan Xay residential area, participants planted trees at an area zoned off for building the Rung Sac Cultural Park in Can Thanh town of Can Gio district.
Speaking at the tree planting ceremony, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said climate change is a major challenge for the world in the 21st century. HCM City has been well aware of climate change impacts and has taken many solutions such as afforestation and forest protection to mitigate climate change’s negative impacts on the local people’s life and socio-economic development.
The 50 bang vuong (Barringtonia asiatica) trees planted during the event are adaptive to drought and other severe climate conditions, he noted.
Applauding HCM City’s organisation of the tree planting event, IPU President Saber Chowdhury said the IPU symposium on climate change response for the parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region is not simply a dialogue but also demonstrates legislators’ actions in the face of climate change.
Planting trees is an investment in the future and will enrich the ecosystem and reduce the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, he said, expressing his hope that each delegate would promote tree planting in their countries.
Hanoi airport plans expansion to avoid overload crisis
Noi Bai is seeking to double its capacity to prevent the problem faced by its overstrained sibling in Ho Chi Minh City.
The city of Hanoi is seeking approval to add two terminals at Noi Bai International Airport, anticipating possible overloads in the next few years.
Hanoi's Party chief Hoang Trung Hai said at a meeting on May 12 that Noi Bai cannot risk becoming a another Tan Son Nhat, the country’s largest airport in Ho Chi Minh City which is constantly strained.
He said the city has applied for permits to build two extra terminals to ease the pressure on the current two, and upgrade infrastructure to serve 50-75 million passengers a year. The city plans to seek private investment for the expansion.
“Noi Bai currently does not look as packed as Tan Son Nhat. But if we don’t expand it now, it will become Tan Son Nhat,” Hai said.
He said the passengers are growing “very fast.”
Noi Bai, designed for 25 million passengers a year, received 20 million in 2016. That was up 20.5% from the previous year. Passengers in 2015 also grew 21%, according to figures from the airport.
Arrivals are expected to reach its designed capacity within the next three years and then double in less than 20 years, officials said.
Down south, Ho Chi Minh City has been grappling with how to scale up Tan Son Nhat effectively.
In February the airport was granted 21 hectares (52 acres) of military land for a US$864 million expansion, which will add two more terminals by 2018 besides runways and aircraft parking space to raise its annual capacity to 45 million passengers.
The airport with two terminals has been serving 42 million passengers annually, well over its design capacity of 25 million.
It has only two runways, which several times were reduced to one because of flooding or lightning strikes. The airport has enough space for 57 aircraft at a time, but sometimes it has to handle more than 70.
Vietnam’s airline market has the third fastest growing pace in Asia-Pacific and the country is trying to solve an acute dearth of airport capacity, with passengers growing 29% to 52.2 million in 2016, according to official data.
National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, low cost carriers Jetstar Pacific and VietJet Air plus the newly founded Vietstar Airlines are planning fleet expansion to have a total of 263 aircraft in the next four years. Vietstar has not been licensed for air transport.
The country is working on a design for a massive airport in Dong Nai province to offload some of the stress from Tan Son Nhat airport, but construction is not expected to be completed by 2025.
Late last month a team of consultants assembled by the Ministry Transport of has picked a lotus-themed design for the airport. This choice is being reviewed by the government.
American celebrity chef makes special appearance in Vietnam
Martin Yan, a Chinese-Hong Kong-American chef and food writer, who has hosted an award-winning Public Broadcasting Television cooking show in the US –Yan Can Cook – since 1982 will appear in An Giang on May 20.
According to Vnexpress, Chef Yan will make a special appearance demonstrating the art of cooking healthy Vietnamese dishes at the Vinh Dong Mall in the city of Chau Doc as part of the festivities celebrating An Giang Tourism Month.
Plan to transform Son Tra into tourist zone to remain intact
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said on May 11 that it will not amend a controversial plan to turn nearly one-fourth of the city’s Son Tra Peninsula into a tourist zone.
The statement was made at a closed meeting between VNAT and the Da Nang Tourism Association to address the latter’s suggestion to amend the controversial planning of a Son Tra National Tourist Zone.
According to the VNAT drafted plan approved by the Vietnamese Prime Minister in February, 1,056 hectares of Son Tra’s total 4,439 hectares will eventually be developed into a national tourist zone capable of accommodating 1,600 hotel rooms by 2030.
Over 30 reporters from local news agencies who gathered at the venue for May 11 meeting were barred from entering the room despite the continuous demands of Huynh Tan Vinh, president of Da Nang Tourism Association, for the press to be let in.
In a brief meeting with press after the meeting, Vinh acknowledged that Ha Van Sieu, deputy director of VNAT who chaired the meeting, has no intentions amending plans for the Son Tra National Tourist Zone and that the current framework was drafted and approved “in accordance with established procedures.”
Sieu, on the other hand, opted to leave the venue without taking questions from the press.
The minutes of the meeting was left unsigned by the representatives from the Da Nang Tourism Association, Vinh said, reiterating that the two parties were unable to reach a mutual agreement.
He added that the association’s request for scientists, experts, and representatives from relevant associations to attend the meeting was also rejected by VNAT.
Representatives from VNAT also refused to attend a seminar hosted by the association on the conservation and sustainable development of the Son Tra Peninsula, Vinh said.
The seminar’s organizers on May 10 sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the administration of Da Nang proposing a comprehensive review of all projects slated to affect the Son Tra Peninsula in order to determine the amount of special-purpose forest that might be harmed.
Son Tra Peninsula, dubbed ‘God’s Eye of Indochina’ by locals, is known for its untouched beauty and natural forest.
It shields the city from typhoons, sustains eco-tourism growth, and serves as a key element of the nation’s defense.
Nghe An, cradle of outstanding people
Nghe An province, the homeland of President Ho Chi Minh, is also home to several other cultural figures and national heroes. The province is also a tourist attraction thanks to its beautiful landscapes.
Nghe An province, 300 km south of Hanoi, has a favorable location for road, railway, waterway and airway. The province is like a miniature of Vietnam because it covers plain, mountain and sea.
Nghe An attracts tourists thanks to its ancient forests, beautiful beaches and many historical and cultural relics. Vinh city in Nghe An province is also a popular tourist destination.
Tran Ha, a tour guide of Vietland Travel Company said “Five kilometers from Vinh city is the grave of great poet Nguyen Du, a World Cultural Figure. The Kim Lien relic site, the home village of President Ho Chi Minh, is 15 km from Vinh city. 17 km southwest of Vinh City is Cua Lo beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in central Vietnam.”
Nghe An has more than 1,000 cultural and historical relic sites.200 of them have been ranked. The most popular tourist site in Nghe An is Kim Lien relic site which showcases the childhood of President Ho Chi Minh. Hoang Tru village is the home village of President Ho Chi Minh’s mother. There, in a thatched cottage, items associated with President Ho Chi Minh’s early years are displayed.
Nguyen Thi Yen, a visitor said “I have read and been told about President Ho Chi Minh, but visiting his home village, I think our President is so great. His home village is as modest as other Vietnamese villages but such simplicity makes our Uncle Ho great. This is my first visit to President Ho Chi Minh’s mother’s village. I’m very happy.”
The 10-km Cua Lo beach in Vinh city lures a lot of tourists. The islands of Hon Ngu, Hon Mat and Lan Châu nearby enchant the most demanding tourists. To Lan Phuong, a visitor from Hanoi said “I have visited many places but Cua Lo beach is so beautiful. Local people are friendly, sincere, and hospitable. I will come back.”
Pu Mat National Park, 120 km southwest of Vinh City, is also a tourist destination in Nghe An. Located on the eastern side of the Truong Son range, Pu Mat National Park and Khe Kem waterfall are famous nature reserves of Vietnam which are home to a number of precious and rare fauna and flora species. The western mountain region of Nghe An province is home to Kho Mu, O Duo, Tho, San Diu, and H’mong ethnic minority groups. Each group has its own culture, festivals, folk songs, and chants.
Nghe An province has a lot of festivals throughout the year, including Whale worshiping, clam procession, boat racing, Cuong temple, Bua cave, house warming, rice wine, and village festivals. Beautiful landscapes, historical sites, culture, and ethnic cultural diversity make Nghê An an attractive tourist destination.
Vietnam Cable Television sues local channels, websites for Champions League piracy
Vietnam Cable Television, or VTVcab, is pressing charges against more than ten TV channels and websites it claims have violated its exclusive broadcasting rights for Champions League games in Vietnam.
The copyright infringement has resulted in VTVcab being forced to terminate live broadcasts of UEFA Champions League matches starting May 10.
Hoang Ngoc Huan, CEO of VTVcab, said on May 11that the cable service provider has completed a court filing to bring the violators to the People’s Court of Hanoi for further legal proceedings.
According to Huan, VTVcab has suffered insurmountable losses since South Korea-based KJ Investment Group Inc., which provides VTVcab with its license to the tournament’s live broadcasts, disconnected signals over worries of piracy.
This is the second time VTVcab’s airing of UEFA Champions League games has been interrupted for piracy, Huan said, and it had not only hurt the cable service economically but also given it a bad name in the eyes of international partners.
“Among the more than ten defendants name in our suit, many are online newspapers that intentionally stream footage of tournaments that VTVcab has exclusive rights for,” Huan said.
“It saddens us that even major TV networks and communications groups continued to pirate our broadcast despite constant warnings from VTVcab demanding they cease their illegal actions.
“We will publicize the defendants once the lawsuit has been received by the court,” Huan added.
According to the contract between VTVcab and KJ, the former was to attain exclusive live broadcasting rights to UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches in Vietnam for three seasons between 2015 and 2018.
Huan said VTVcab had paid the full value of the three-year contract to KJ, and that its termination would mean huge losses on the cable service’s part.
In addition, VTV is facing the possibility of being sued by KJ in the U.S. for its failure to protect the copyrighted live broadcast signals from pirates.
“The representative office of KJ Investment Group Inc in California has threatened to sue VTVcab for violating the contract due to widespread piracy in Vietnam,” Huan said.
The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs.
Drug traffickers sentenced to life imprisonment
The Hà Nội People’s Court on Thursday sentenced three drug traffickers to life imprisonment.
The three defendants are Lê Minh Trí, 34, from Hà Nội; Nguyễn Văn Tiệp, 34, from the northern province of Ninh Bình; and Phạm Hữu Thuận, 23, from the central province of Thanh Hóa.
According to the indictment, Tiệp hired Trí to transport the drugs by train to HCM City to deliver to a man named Zô.
Also, through Tiệp, Trí got acquainted with Bắc and Hoa in Lạng Sơn Province, who supplied the drugs to Trí. Trí and Tiệp later bought drugs from Bắc and Hoa and hired Thuấn to transport them to Zô in HCM City.
According to the investigation, from May 8 to 18, 2016, Trí and Tiệp illegally traded nearly 1.7 kilos of methamphetamine. During the time, Trí and Tiệp hired Thuấn to transport drugs weighing 700g for a payment of VNĐ9 million (US$400).
On May 18, 2016, Thuấn visited Trí’s house in Hoàng Mai District in Hà Nội to collect the remaining drugs to transport to HCM City. However, when Tiệp and Trí reached the area near Phù Đổng Bridge in Long Biên District of Hà Nội, they were detained by the police.
The police are still determining the whereabouts of Zô in HCM City and the other suspects.
IPU delegation plants trees in HCM City
Leaders of parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) took fact-finding trips around HCM City yesterday to learn about the impact of climate change.
Joining the trips, which formed part of an IPU symposium on climate change response, were Việt Nam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, IPU President Saber Chowdhury, IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong and about 200 representatives from the parliaments of 24 regional countries and international organisations.
The delegates visited the Dần Xây residential area, which is often inundated by tidal surges and has suffered from land erosion. Although the area is part of the Cần Giờ protective forest--a world biosphere reserve--unplanned land reclamation for home building has damaged the recovery and development of the submerged forest ecosystem.
The parliamentarians were briefed on to HCM City’s response to the problem, which is resettling households to safer places. The resettlement is meant to protect the Cần Giờ forest while improving local residents’ material and spiritual lives.
After visiting the Dần Xây residential area, participants planted trees at an area zoned off for building the Rừng Sác Cultural Park in Cần Thạnh Town of Cần Giờ District.
Speaking at the tree planting ceremony, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Lê Thanh Liêm called climate change a major global challenge for the 21st century. HCM City has been well aware of climate change impacts and has implemented solutions such as afforestation and forest protection to mitigate climate change’s negative impacts on the local people’s life and socio-economic development.
The 50 bàng vuông (Barringtonia asiatica) trees planted during the event are adaptive to drought and other severe climate conditions, he noted.
Applauding HCM City’s organisation of the tree planting event, IPU President Saber Chowdhury said the IPU symposium on climate change response for the parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region is not simply a dialogue but also a demonstration of legislators’ actions in the face of climate change.
Planting trees is an investment in the future and will enrich the ecosystem and reduce the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, he said, expressing his hope that all delegates will promote tree planting in their countries.
Da Nang launches online feedback service
Authorities in Da Nang have launched a website at gopy.danang.gov.vn to get feedback on city services from the local community.
Deputy director of the city’s Information and Communications Department, Tran Van Thach, said at a press conference on Thursday that the new online portal, available in English and Vietnamese, would allow residents and tourists to conveniently post opinions and suggestions, as well as complaints on urban, environmental, administrative and tourism-related services.
The department also launched an app for public bus routes (Dana Bus) that can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play stores.
Using the app, tourists and commuters can easily search for the correct bus service and route in the city.
Thach said users could send all problems related to security, tourism, public disorders, environmental pollution, and administrative procedures to the concerned authorities via the website. Issues will be dealt with within three working days.
Thach said the page had already received 600 opinions and complaints from local residents and tourists, of which 98 per cent were resolved within seven days.
Da Nang was the first city in Viet Nam to offer free wireless internet, with a maximum of 20,000 connections at a time for locals and tourists on major streets in the city, including living quarters, schools and beaches.