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VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 10 (updated hourly)

Latest landslide in Quang Nam kills one

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The landslide scene (Photo: Vietnamnet)

 

A landslide triggered by heavy rains from Storm Etau buried a house in Tam Lanh commune, Phu Ninh district, in central Quang Nam province on the morning of November 10, killing one woman.

Authorised forces rushed to the scene upon hearing the news and recovered the victim’s body.

The woman was in the house alone when the landslide hit, with her three children at work in Tam Ky city.

Forces are searching the area around her house in case anybody happened to be passing by./.

Deputy PM orders central localities to prepare for storm

Central localities have been told to urgently remedy the consequences of Storm Etau and continue preparing for Storm Vamco.

Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng made the order at a meeting held on Tuesday by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control in Hà Nội to direct the localities to cope with the two storms.

Dũng said the localities must focus on ensuring safety for local residents.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, Etau already made landfall on central provinces from Bình Định to Ninh Thuận at about 10am on Tuesday, causing torrential rains and strong winds.

The centre said rainfall of 100-250mm was predicted to hit the provinces of Khánh Hòa, Phú Yên, Bình Định and Tây Nguyên between Tuesday and Wednesday while provinces from Quảng Trị to Quảng Ngãi would be blanketed by rainfall of 150-350mm until Thursday.

Storm Etau had weakened into a tropical low-pressure system shortly after it made the landfall on the provinces on Tuesday, the centre said.

Dũng said although Storm Etau was not strong as Storm Molave, it still directly affected the provinces of Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa, which have many fish and shrimp cages. Thus, he asked agencies to ensure safety for people working at the cages.

He also ordered the provinces to quickly check areas at high risks of landslides and flash floods to promptly evacuate people.

To prepare for Storm Vamco, Dũng told the localities and agencies to be ready to cope with complex developments of natural disasters, triggered by the storm, in the coming days.

He said the storm was forecast to enter the East Sea on Thursday and impact the central region on Saturday.

Therefore, he asked agencies to monitor the developments of the storm then inform offshore fishing vessels as well as take measures to ensure safety for local residents in affected localities.

Dũng said Storm Vamco was forecast to be strong, so preparations should begin early to minimise the damage.

In a related move, the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control issued a message last Sunday to order localities to ensure safety for reservoirs during the two storms.

Airports in south central region closed on November 10 due to storm Etau

The Vietnam Airlines Group, which operates Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and Vasco, announced on November 9 evening that the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) will temporarily close several airports in the south central region due to impact of storm Etau – the 12th to enter the East Sea this year.

Accordingly, the CAAV will suspend the operation of all flights at Tuy Hoa airport in Phu Yen province from 5pm on November 9 to 4pm on November 10, at Cam Ranh airport in Khanh Hoa province from 0am – 4pm on November 10, at Buon Me Thuot airport in Dak Lak province from 7am – 4pm, at Lien Khuong airport in Lam Dong province from 6am – 4pm, and at Phu Cat airport in Quy Nhon province from 0am – 3pm on the day.

Necessary adjustments will be applied on Chu Lai airport in Quang Nam province, Da Nang International Airport, and Phu Bai airport in Thua Thien-Hue province, depending on the weather situation.

Therefore, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will cancel two flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Tuy Hoa, two flights between the city and Quy Nhon, and two others between Hanoi and Nha Trang. It will delay the departure time of flights from other airports to Tuy Hoa, Nha Trang, Buon Me Thuot, Da Lat, Quy Nhon and Chu Lai to after 4pm on November 10.

Pacific Airlines will postpone six flights between HCM City and Tuy Hoa and Da Lat.

Meanwhile, Vasco will keep a close watch on storm developments to have adjustments if necessary.

Vietnam Airlines Group advised passengers who have plans to go to/from airports in the localities forecast to be affected by the 12th storm to keep updated on the weather situation and the airlines’ information./.

Employers to be fined over drunk employees

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Employers will be fined if their staff are found drinking alcohol during work hours.

This is a part of the Decree 117 about administrative fines in the medical field which will take effect from November 15. The new regulations will be applied to different sectors including public and private firms as well as FDI businesses and co-operatives.

The head of an agency or firm will be fined VND3m (USD129) to VND5m for not implementing measures against the harmful effects of alcohol at workplaces or not following non-drinking regulation during work hours. They will also be fined for not carrying out inspections and giving warnings to employees to follow the regulations about alcoholic beverage drinking and trading.

Decree 117 states that the heads of transportation firms or vehicle owners will be fined VND5m (USD215) to VND10m for not carrying out preventive measures to detect drunk driver during and before work hours.

Cambodian PM tests negative for COVID-19 twice

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, his wife and 18 escorts tested negative for the novel coronavirus second time, he announced on his Facebook page on November 9.

He said he is under self-quarantine and waiting for the third test on November 14, and the fourth on November 18.

Hun Sen is also waiting for the testing results of over 900 people having close contact with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto who tested positive for the virus on arrival in Bangkok, Thailand, after departing from Phnom Penh on November 3.

Earlier, Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of Health, and the authority of Phnom Penh city and Kandal province to keep close watch on people under quarantine since they were in close contact with the Hungarian delegation.

There have been 300 cases of COVID-19 reported in Cambodia, with 288 recoveries. The country logged no COVID-19 death, according to the Ministry of Health./.

Philippines: 3 dead, 64 injured in prison riot

Three persons were killed, and 64 others injured in a prison riot in the Philippines on November 9, according to the country’s Department of Justice.

The Philippine Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) said the riot erupted at 8:39 am (local time) in the New Bilibid Prison.

The case is under further investigation.

This is the second deadly riot to have occurred at the prison over the past month. Earlier on October 9, a similar riot claimed nine lives and injured seven others.

According to official statistics, the New Bilibid prison, located in the Metro Manila, was designed to hold 6,435 prisoners, but currently it holds up to 28,885 prisoners. Not only this prison, but all other prisons in the Philippines are suffering from overload./.

117 works awarded at ASEAN Graphic Arts Competition and Exhibition

The event is a meaningful cultural and artistic activity of 2020 as Vietnam is the ASEAN Chair.

The third ASEAN Graphic Arts Competition and Exhibition has selected and awarded 117 works of 84 authors from 10 ASEAN member countries at the opening ceremony on November 6 in Hanoi.

The artistic council received 345 entries of 182 painters from 10 ASEAN countries. Of the exhibited works, the council awarded one first prize to a Thai painter, two second prizes (one from Thailand and the other from Vietnam), three third prizes (ti painters from the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam), and five consolidation prizes.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong highlighted the artistic event saying it aims to enhance understanding and solidarity among ASEAN states and offers a chance for painters in the region to meet and share their achievements, and introduce their countries, people, and cultures to others.

Mr. Dong said the event creates opportunities for exchanges and introduction of new achievements in graphic art creation in the region.

The exhibition includes works around issues of life, people, natural landscapes, peaceful country, solidarity, cooperation, friendship in ASEAN. The entries have been created since 2017.

The categories of art works include: embossing (wood, rubber, cover and other embossing techniques); debossing (carving on metal, mica, film, among other materials); and lithography. Through their works, ASEAN artists want to bring new and interesting perspectives to each work, gratifying the vision of the viewer by their techniques.

The event is jointly held by the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition and the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in coordination with the Vietnamese embassies in ASEAN countries and the Embassies of ASEAN countries in Vietnam.

The exhibition lasts until November 25 at Vincom Center for Contemporary Art, Hanoi.

According to Nguyen Nghia Phuong, vice chairman of the artistic council, it is a great win of print art in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. That shows the advantage and value of printed paintings for art exchange in today's world. Compared to the two previous events, the novelty of this event lies in the form of a multi-dimensional print to reveal interesting views for audiences.

Vietnam plays crucial role in promoting Russia-ASEAN ties: Russian experts

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The cover of the summary record on Russia-Vietnam relations

 

As Vietnam is serving as ASEAN Chair in 2020, many Russian experts have their belief in the Southeast Asian nation’s activeness in promoting ASEAN-Russia cooperative relations.

In an article on Vietnam’s role and position in the Russia-ASEAN cooperation published in a summary record on Russia-Vietnam relations, Dr Ekaterina Koldunova, Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and African Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations under Russia’s Foreign Ministry, held that a highlight of the Russia-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership is the more frequency of high-level meetings compared to Russia’s ties with other ASEAN countries.

Before the establishment of the Russia-ASEAN strategic partnership in 2018, Russia and Vietnam had gained much experience in implementing special economic projects. A free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), of which Russia is a member, and Vietnam was signed in 2015 and took effect in 2016, becoming the first of its kind between the EAEU and a Southeast Asian country.

Koldunova noted the two countries have long shared views on a number of strategic issues related to the Asia-Pacific, and that Russia has advocated the full compliance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), which was approved by ASEAN member nations and China in 2002, as well as the early signing of a code of conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

Holding the ASEAN Chairmanship this year, she said, Vietnam has had to deal with an array of complicated tasks, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the swiftly changing regional and global situation.

However, its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 seems to remain “promising”, the expert noted, adding that there may appear unique areas of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN which is mainly based on Russia-Vietnam connections in military medicine, emergency response, and scientific cooperation to fight against risks and challenges posed by epidemics.

In a book about Vietnam, Chairman of the Experts’ Council of the Eurasian Ideas Foundation Grigory Trofimchuk reserved many pages for talking about the country’s role in popularising the image of ASEAN in not only Russia but also around the world.

Vietnam deserves a reward for its contributions to the promotion of the bloc’s image on the global scale, according to the expert on international affairs.

He wrote that Vietnam has been increasingly asserting its role and stature in international and regional organisations, describing it as a truly trustworthy partner of countries in the international community and a priority of Russia in the Asia-Pacific.

Vietnam has also taken active and proactive part in international organisations like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and UN peacekeeping operations while being elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council twice with very high numbers of votes.

The country has not only been actively participating in international issues and integration process in many aspects but also helping with shaping the world, the expert added.

The summary record on Russia-Vietnam relations and the book about Vietnam were published recently in Russia to mark the 70th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations./.

Designed by Vietnam 2020 contest opens online voting

The Việt Nam Design Week 2020 promotes the invention and application of designs from different aspects of daily life: Food and Beverage, Living, Fashion, Souvenir, and Public Art.

Its mission is to increase the value of Vietnamese products and promote the development of the national design industry.

Besides talk shows and workshops, an exhibition will be showcasing prototypes from the finalists with the most votes for a nationwide contest titled “Designed by Việt Nam”.

Vietnam Design Week's committee includes many experts in the field. Photo Vietnam Design Week
The theme “Regeneration” focuses on encouraging mindsets that support economical, sustainable and optimal use of materials for a sustainable future. Regeneration helps to make the best use of old materials and reminds us of the need to use natural resources that do not have a negative impact on the environment.

Of the 20 entries that made it to the final round, many objects found in daily life have been repurposed into new products with innovative designs and uses.

Bamboo, an object very familiar in Vietnamese society, has been used to make lamps by designer Kiều Thắng. Besides bamboo, he has used other materials and techniques such as rattan weaving and woodcut prints from folk paintings that have been reinvented to help keep the traditional values of different ethnicities in Việt Nam.

In another project, three artists from Think Playgrounds have recycled materials such as old car parts into a new playground for young children. Looking at the blueprints, old tires have been recycled to create fun challenges for kids, along with small boulders and a slide made from the car.

Three other artists from the Phường Son collective have created rattan mats, a tea table and room dividers that can be reassembled to make room for a spiritual corner to allow people to connect with their inner selves and find a balance in the current hectic lifestyle.

Diego Cortizas del Valle, a Spanish designer who created the fashion brand Chula, has also made it into the top 20 with his new design of metal fences.

Between November 1-15, on the vietnamdesignweek.com website, people can check out the submissions and vote for their favourite projects.

The exhibition will showcase products in Hà Nội, Hội An and Hồ Chí Minh City.

Judges include Nguyễn Phan Thuỳ Dương, managing editor of Elle Decoration Vietnam Magazine, and Lê Bá Ngọc, vice president of Vietcraft, along with other design experts. 

Ben Tre province acts to cope with saltwater intrusion

The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre will step up measures over the next five years to cope with saltwater intrusion in its rivers during the dry season, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

The coastal province, one of the delta’s hardest hit by saltwater intrusion, is spending 8.4 trillion VND (362.8 million USD) to set up irrigation projects to prevent saltwater intrusion and store freshwater for agricultural production and household use in 2019-2023.

In the first phase of the Northern Ben Tre Irrigation Project 45 saltwater prevention sluices and river bank embankment sections will be built along the Tien and Ham Luong rivers in the districts of Chau Thanh, Giong Trom and Binh Dai and Ben Tre city this year.

The Kenh Cu sluice will be built in Ben Tre city and an embankment along the Ham Luong River from the Cai Mit sluice to the Cau Kinh sluice in Giong Trom district next year.

The Southern Ben Tre Irrigation Project will see 11 saltwater prevention sluices built next year.

In 2022-2023, under the Ben Tre Water Management Project, the Tan Phu, Ben Ro and An Hoa saltwater prevention sluices will be built in Chau Thanh district, the Ben Tre sluice in Ben Tre city and others in the districts of Giong Trom, Mo Cay Nam and Mo Cay Bac.

The province plans to build the Lac Dia Reservoir in Ba Tri district to store 2.3 million cubic metres of freshwater at an estimated 352 billion VND (15.2 million USD).

The People’s Committee has ordered proactive measures to prevent saltwater intrusion by building irrigation projects and through non-construction measures.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap said the province would continue to expand its ‘Dong Khoi stores rainwater, freshwater’ movement launched in 2016.

The movement encourages households, organisations and companies to instal containers to store water in the dry season, he said.

Localities have speeded up dredging of irrigation canals and upgrades to water supply facilities to finish the work before the upcoming dry season.

The province has drawn up schedules for growing rice and other crops in each locality during the dry season to cope with saltwater intrusion which has become more and more severe in recent years.

While in past years it lasted around three months, last year, for instance, it lasted around five months.

The upcoming dry season is expected to be very bad because of low rainfall this year in the Mekong River basin.

Ben Tre has undertaken many saltwater prevention projects in recent years that have helped mitigate the impacts of saltwater intrusion on agriculture and people’s lives.

It has more than 477km of axis canals and grade-1 canals, and 2,238km of grade-2 and -3 canals.

It has 148 saltwater prevention sluices with a width of more than two metres and 1,906 with a width of less than 1.5m. It also has 650km of sea and river dykes.

However, construction of irrigation projects is not complete and so localities cannot totally mitigate the impacts of the saltwater intrusion yet, according to the People’s Committee.

A salinity rate of two grammes per litre affected the entire province during the last dry season, but most plants can only tolerate up to one gramme./.

Indonesian police arrest six terror suspects

The Indonesia police anti-terror squad recently arrested six terror suspects in Lampung, West Sumatra and Riau Islands, Xinhua News Agency reported on November 8, citing police sources.

During the operations, the police seized cellular phones, laptops, air rifles and slingshots.

Last month, the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad arrested four suspected terrorists in separate areas in Bekasi, West Java.

The suspects have ties with the Al Qaeda-linked extremist network Jemaah Islamiyah.

Densus 88 confiscated weapons, and articles and books related to jihad.

Jemaah Islamiyah was behind the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than 200 people. It was banned in 2008./.

Foreign arrivals to Vietnam up by 7.6% in October

 

The number of international visitors to the nation in October witnessed a rise of 7.6% from the previous month, with the number of foreign arrivals to the country during the opening ten months of the year falling by 73.8% on-year to over 3.8 million, according to statistics released by the General Statistics Office.

This comes as the local tourism sector has gone to great lengths to implement stimulus packages in an effort to revive the domestic tourism industry following a severe downturn caused by the global impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

With the stimulus scheme launched with the theme of “Vietnam - a safe and attractive destination”, local businesses have given priority to ensuring the safety of visitors, whilst also launching attractive tourism packages in terms of their prices and services.

Furthermore, the Vietnam National Tourism Administration has launched the "Safe Vietnam Travel " application with the aim of making it easier for guests to view how safe various destinations are before arrival, in addition to searching for information on restaurants and hotel services./.

Environmental protection must be at core of socio-economic development targets: experts

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Predictions on the intensity and impacts of environmental issues on various socio-economic aspects must be highlighted in the draft documents to be submitted to the 13th National Party Congress, said deputy head of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) Nguyen Hung Thinh.

Feedback from experts on the Party Congress documents emphasise the harmonisation of socio-economic development and environmental protection. To do this, environmental protection goals “must be at the core of the socio-economic growth target and determines the country’s sustainable development,” according to the VEA.

As environmental issues are affecting various aspects of the socio-economy, it will take a long time to recover from the impacts of pollution as a result of industrialisation and modernisation.

In many documents, Vietnam has highlighted the determination of “not sacrificing environmental protection for economic development”.

Among socio-economic targets in the 2021-25 period, one of the notable goals is to have 100 percent of polluting facilities treating their waste and emissions. This target seems to be hard to achieve and the country needs to focus all resources to meet the goal as currently only 66.4 percent of the facilities are able to address the problem, experts from VEA said.

Thinh said the national development orientations for the 2021-30 period mentioned in the draft Party Congress documents focus on land management but there are no solutions for pollution management as well as environmental protection and response.

Besides completing a legal framework for the mid- and long-term, Vietnam needs to have an appropriate and effective management model as well as materials, resources and finance to effectively respond to climate change, he said.

He urged more solutions on investing in and promoting renewable energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

“We should call for private investment in treating urban solid waste to reduce the State budget on the work,” he said.

Some comments suggest preferential policies for production establishments or people who take environmental protection measures. 

Thinh said in the next five years, the practical solution to respond effectively to climate change and prevent natural disasters is to promote solutions on resource management.

He recommended investment and comprehensive planning of waste treatment infrastructure concentrated in big cities, using recycling technologies, energy recovery and electricity generation./.

Festival celebrating ethnic culture to take place in Thanh Hoa

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A festival to honour and promote the cultural identity of the Muong ethnic minority group will be held in the central province of Thanh Hoa on December 10-12.

Held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in coordination with the Thanh Hoa provincial People's Committee, the festival will gather hundreds of artisans, artists and athletes from six provinces and cities nationwide namely Thanh Hoa, Hanoi, Hoa Binh, Son La, Phu Tho and Binh Phuoc.

There will also be performances of an art troupe from Laos's Houaphanh province.

The second Muong Ethnic Culture Festival will feature many activities that showcase the cultural features of the Muong like a demonstration of weaving traditional clothes and handicraft products, performances of gongs, introductions to rituals and a photo exhibition.

During the event, a farm trip to survey Thanh Hoa’s community tourism and ecotourism will be organised, in addition to the tourism promotion stalls in the festival area.

The second Muong Ethnic Culture Festival is also an opportunity to promote and introduce the Muong culture to a large number of people and tourists, which will help to develop community tourism and support the preservation and development of ethnic cultures nationwide.

The first Muong Ethnic Culture Festival was held in the northern province of Hoa Bình in 2007.

The Muong ethnic group currently has a population of more than 1 million, residing mainly in the northern and northern central provinces, particularly in Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces.

The ethnic community maintains a rich folk cultural treasures, including epics, old tales and folk songs./.

COVID-19: Citizens from Germany, Romania brought home

More than 340 Vietnamese citizens in Germany and Romania have been brought home on a flight operated by Vietnam Airlines.

The flight was arranged on November 7 and 8 by Vietnamese agencies in coordination with relevant agencies of Germany and Romania.

Passengers on the flight included under-18 children, students who had completed study, labourers with expired visas and contracts and others in disadvantaged circumstances.

In the context of travel restrictions, Vietnamese representative agencies abroad have worked with host countries’ authorities to facilitate Vietnamese citizens’ journey to gathering places in Frankfurt (Germany) and Bucharest (Romania) to board the flight.

In-flight safety and preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic were rigorously enforced to protect the passengers’ health and prevent the spread of the disease.

All passengers and crew members received medical check-ups and were sent to quarantine in line with regulations upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

The repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances abroad will continue to be conducted in line with citizens’ wishes, the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine capacity in Vietnam./.

More aid sent to flood survivors in central Vietnam from overseas

Vietnamese people and international friends from all over the world continue to make donations to help survivors of the historic floods in central Vietnam over the last several days.

In Argentina, the Embassy of Vietnam in Buenos Aires held an event on November 7 to call for donations for the flood victims from its staff as well those working for Vietnamese representative offices and their family.

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Duong Quoc Thanh said Argentina is so far away from Vietnam and the Vietnamese society here is relatively small, but its contributions still hold a big meaning as they demonstrate the love and responsibility toward their Vietnamese fellows in the central region who are struggling to make ends meet because of the natural disaster.

In Italy, the Embassy of Vietnam, the Italy-Vietnam Mutual Assistance Association and the Vietnamese Students Association in Italy have teamed up to launch an appeal calling for donations for flood-stricken people.

The Italy-Vietnam Mutual Assistance Association has raised more than 4,000 EUR and nearly 10 million VND (about 5,180 USD in total) after two weeks, said Chairman Tran Minh Chau.

The appeal will last until November 15 and then the money raised will be sent to Vietnam to financially support the repair of kindergartens, schools and medical stations damaged by the flooding, Chau said.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Italy has so far raised about 1,000 EUR while the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam has also launched a similar event to seek aid for the flood survivors.

Nguyen Thanh Vinh, First Secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, said the fundraising events have received attention and encouragement from not only Vietnamese expats but also Italian parents adopting Vietnamese children.

The embassy has maintained close contact with these families who had also made contributions to Da Nang Hospital severely affected by the resurgence of COVID-19 in the central city of Da Nang in July, he said, adding that the number of Italian family adopting Vietnamese children now reached about 400.

In Vientiane, Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Youth Union (LPRYU)’s Central Committee Alounxai Sounnalath on November 6 handed over 41 million LAK (4,420 USD) to Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung to help Vietnam address consequences of the record flooding.

Ambassador Hung expressed thanks towards the gesture of Lao people, given that Laos itself has also been hit by widespread flooding which caused serious damages in eight districts of Savannakhet. It shows the special friendship and solidarity between the two countries, he said, adding that the financial aid will soon reach affected households in Vietnam./.

Dien Bien protecting forests associated with economic development

 

The northern mountainous province of Dien Bien now has promoted the development of production forests and protected forests together with the development of models such as planting medicinal plants under the forest canopy. It has not only created livelihoods and improved household incomes but is also a solution to help keep forestry sustainable throughout the province.

Planting cardamom trees under the forest canopy is a model successfully applied in Tenh Phong commune in Dien Bien’s Tuan Giao district. It was previously planted in a spontaneous manner, but over the last 15 years the cardamom area in the commune has been constantly expanding. It now has more than 80 ha of cardamom, bringing in incomes of 10 to 60 million VND a year depending on the growing area.

In 2015 the border district of Nam Po implemented a pilot planting model of 2 ha of green safflower under the forest canopy, to improve economic efficiency from the forest. The safflower growing area in the district has now increased to 30 ha, helping households earn more income, from thousands to hundreds of millions of VND a year.

Along with the development of the model of growing medicinal plants under the forest canopy, Dien Bien province also focuses on afforestation and the sustainable development of the forestry economy. In the 2016-2020 period, it has planted more than 4,300 ha of forest. The planting of production forests has also changed people’s perception of economic development, encouraging them to invest and bolster efforts to expand the afforestation area.

In the forest development plan for the 2021-2025 period, Dien Bien province aims to plant some 1,500 ha of new forests each year, in which production forest will account for two-thirds of the area, with the remainder being protected forest. The province also promotes forest zoning and regeneration, and at the same time creates favourable mechanisms and policies to attract all economic sectors to participate in forest development to protect and develop the economy based on sustainable forests./.

HCM City seeks tourism coordination with Northeast, Northwest and Central regions

The tourism and information authorities of HCM City are seeking to boost tourism programmes between the city and the  Northwest, Northeast and Central regions of the country. 

The city's Department of Tourism officials Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa and Võ Thị Ngọc Thuý, and the deputy director of the city's Department of Information and Communications, Từ Lương, spoke about the programmes at a press conference recently.

Tourism development programmes between the city and those regions will be discussed at three conferences.

The first conference on HCM City’s tourism connections with eight cities and provinces in the expanded Northwest region, including Điện Biên, Hà Giang, Hoà Bình, Lai Châu, Lào Cai, Sơn La, Yên Bái, and Phú Thọ, will be held on November 14 and 15 in Phú Thọ.

The next conference on HCM City’s relationship with cities and provinces in the Northeast region, namely Bắc Kạn, Bắc Giang, Cao Bằng, Lạng Sơn, Thái Nguyên, Tuyên Quang, Vĩnh Phúc, and Quảng Ninh, will take place in Quảng Ninh between November 19 and 20.

The last conference will be organised in Quảng Nam on November 27 and 28, focusing on strengthening tourism linkages between HCM City, Hà Nội and cities and provinces in the Central region, such as Bình Định, Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi and Thừa Thiên Huế.

At these events, authorities will discuss and sign agreements on regional tourism development between 2020 and 2025. Implementation plans of each programme will be reviewed and approved during these conferences.

According to the director of the HCM City Department of Tourism, Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, it is crucial to carry out the programmes effectively as the city’s tourism sector needs to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Hoa added that since the domestic market is now being identified as the main market for tourism, strengthening regional linkages is one of the key solutions to revive the industry. 

HCM City expects to attract more tourists from Northwest provinces and cities, the Northeast, and key economic regions in the Central area, who will also travel to the Mekong Delta area.

The number of domestic visitors to HCM City is expected to reach 35 million next year, she said.

The city's tourism authority is also seeking to collaborate with the culture and tourism  authorities in multiple provinces to launch online forums for locals to send their feedback on possible plans to develop tourism in the Northweast, Northwest and Central regions. 

Bến Tre steps up efforts to cope with saltwater intrusion in rivers

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bến Tre will step up measures over the next five years to cope with saltwater intrusion in its rivers during the dry season, according to its People’s Committee.

The coastal province, one of the delta’s hardest hit by saltwater intrusion, is spending VNĐ8.4 trillion (US$362 million) to set up irrigation projects to prevent saltwater intrusion and store freshwater for agricultural production and household use in 2019-23.

In the first phase of the Northern Bến Tre Irrigation Project 45 saltwater prevention sluices and river bank embankment sections will be built along the Tiền and Hàm Luông rivers in the districts of Châu Thành, Giồng Trôm and Bình Đại and Bến Tre City this year.

The Kênh Cũ Sluice will be built in Bến Tre City and an embankment along the Hàm Luông River from the Cái Mít Sluice to the Cầu Kinh Sluice in Giồng Trôm District next year.

The Southern Bến Tre Irrigation Project will see 11 saltwater prevention sluices built next year.  

In 2022-23, under the Bến Tre Water Management Project, the Tân Phú, Bến Rớ and An Hóa saltwater prevention sluices will be built in Châu Thành District, the Bến Tre sluice in Bến Tre City and others in the districts of Giồng Trôm, Mỏ Cày Nam and Mỏ Cày Bắc.  

The province plans to build the Lạc Địa Reservoir in Ba Tri District to store 2.3 million cubic metres of freshwater at an estimated VNĐ352 billion ($15.2 million).

The People’s Committee has ordered proactive measures to prevent saltwater intrusion by building irrigation projects and through non-construction measures.

Nguyễn Hữu Lập, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee, said the province would continue to expand its ‘Đồng Khởi stores rainwater, freshwater’ movement launched in 2016.

The movement encourages households, organisations and companies to instal containers to store water in the dry season, he said.

Localities have speeded up dredging of irrigation canals and upgrades to water supply facilities to finish the work before the upcoming dry season.

The province has drawn up schedules for growing rice and other crops in each locality during the dry season to cope with saltwater intrusion which has become more and more severe in recent years.

While in past years it lasted around three months, last year, for instance, it lasted around five months.

The upcoming dry season is expected to be very bad because of low rainfall this year in the Mekong River basin.

Bến Tre has undertaken many saltwater prevention projects in recent years that have helped mitigate the impacts of saltwater intrusion on agriculture and people’s lives.

It has more than 477km of axis canals and grade-1 canals, and 2,238km of grade-2 and -3 canals.

It has 148 saltwater prevention sluices with a width of more than two metres and 1,906 with a width of less than 1.5m.

It also has 650km of sea and river dykes.

However, construction of irrigation projects is not complete and so localities cannot totally mitigate the impacts of the saltwater intrusion yet, according to the People’s Committee.

A salinity rate of two grammes per litre affected the entire province during the last dry season, but most plants can only tolerate up to one gramme.

Communes in An Giang see less crimes thanks to regular police force

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Regular police force of Nhơn Hưng Commune patrol the area.

 

 

Since regular police were mobilised to work in communes in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, the area has seen a significant drop in crime.

Nearly 600 police officers from the national public security force started work in 119 communes in An Giang last August as part of the Government’s project “Sending regular police to communes”.

Before that, part-time police officers took on the duty of ensuring public safety and security in the area. However, due to lacking professional skills, they faced a number of difficulties.

“The regular police force has brought a breath of fresh air to the area because they are able to update cases quickly from grassroots and are trusted by people,” said Colonel Đinh Văn Nơi, director of An Giang Province’s Police Department.

An Giang Province was a hot spot of crimes and social evils in the Mekong Delta region. The public officers on duty were always under pressure to handle criminal cases.

With the help of regular police, safety and security in communes has improved.

Nguyễn Phước An, chairman of People's Committee of An Thanh Trung Commune, Chợ Mới District, said since the regular police force were mobilised to work at the commune, there have been no social evils. The commune police force has strengthened its core role, maintaining security and order in the locality.

The part-time police force and self-defence force also support regular police officers in patrolling duties as well as preventing and combating crimes, he said.

Regular police have cracked down on a number of criminal cases, erased many places of social evils, drugs, and smuggling, the tasks that part-time security force found it hard to do.

During the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular police were on duty around the clock and collaborated with soldiers to ensure safety for the Việt Nam-Cambodia border.

Thích Thiện Chiếu, head of Hòa Thạnh Pagoda, Nhơn Hưng Commune, said the regular police force was warmly welcomed by local people.

“We are satisfied that administrative procedures are handled neatly, professionally and quickly by the communal police," he said.

"The police are also very helpful that they support local people with the procedures.”

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Thanh Sang, deputy head of the Tịnh Biên District Police, said the project was a necessary policy and has shown positive results.

However, police in the area still face a number of difficulties while performing the duty due to downgrading infrastructure. The criminals’ detention house is too small to accommodate a large number of offenders.

In the future, the An Giang Police will continue to improve police force’s quality and upgrade infrastructure to facilitate the regular police’s work, he said. 

Đồng Tháp to expand fruit cultivation, improve fruit value

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Đồng Tháp plans to increase the area under fruits cultivation to more than 35,000ha by 2025 with a focus on environment-friendly farming methods and developing value chains for fruits.

It also plans to enhance the means of origin tracing for the fruits and tourism services involving orchards in the period.

It hopes to have 928ha of orchards adopting Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards and 53ha grown to GlobalGAP standards.

It has more than 33,000ha of orchards that will produce more than 377,000 tonnes of fruits this year, up 43 per cent in area and 45.9 per cent in output from 2015, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Mango, longan and citrus fruits are the key fruits and are grown in large, concentrated farming areas.

Nguyễn Phước Thiện, director of the department, said the rapid growth in fruit production has been a big factor in the province’s successful restructuring of its agriculture.

The income for farmers from the province’s key fruits is three to eight times higher than from rice, he said.

A Cát Chu mango orchard provides an income of VNĐ115 million (US$4,960) per hectare per year, while the figures are VNĐ261 million ($11,260) and VNĐ850 million ($36,700) for the Edor longan and the Xoàn orange.

Under the province’s agriculture restructuring plan, many farmers with low-yield rice fields have switched to fruits and adopted VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards and advanced techniques to produce quality fruits that are also exported.

Nguyễn Văn Hải in Tháp Mười District’s Phú Điền Commune has switched to growing Thai jackfruit one his one-hectare paddy and has three to four harvests a year. His 500 – 700 kilogrammes of fruit per harvest mean he earns VNĐ600 million ($25,900) a year.

The province, the delta’s largest mango producer, has more than 9,650ha under the fruit and an annual output of 127,000 tonnes.

Farmers here use advanced techniques to grow mangoes even in the off-season to and reduce the output during main harvest season to keep prices steady.

Since the province grows many different fruits with steady quality, many companies have invested in processing them.

There are 25 small and medium – sized companies that produce more than 60 types of processed fruits and vegetables. 

Of them 20 have been identified for the country’s ‘one commune – one product’ (OCOP) programme and are sold in supermarkets.

Thiện said based on the OCOP products, many localities in the province have chosen key fruits to restructure agriculture and develop value chains.

They have developed concentrated growing areas with value chains to reduce production costs and improve farmers’ incomes, he said.

The province has 11 co-operatives, 80 co-operative groups and 58 farmers clubs that have developed value chains for fruits.

There are 133 fruit-growing areas covering a total of nearly 6,000ha that have been granted production unit codes for export purposes. 

Most of these areas are under mango, longan, dragon fruit, jackfruit, and rambutan.  

To be granted a production unit code, each fruit growing area should be a minimum of 10ha, grow a single kind of fruit and to Vietnamese VietGAP or other equivalent standards. 

The farmers also have to carry out many other tasks like keeping a cultivation diary for traceability and follow regulations on pesticide use.

Hà Nội’s agriculture strives to achieve growth target

With a growth target of more than 4.1 per cent this year, Hà Nội's agricultural sector is focusing on developing production, implementing winter crop production, and preparing goods for the year-end market and Tết (Lunar New Year).

For this year's crop, Thường Tín District’s rice yield is about 6 tonnes per hectare.

As soon as the harvest is completed, the district will focus on winter crop production, with key crops including potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin and cucumber.

In this winter crop, the district strives to grow 2,100ha or more, of which the area for maize is 100ha, soybeans 100ha, potatoes 130ha, sweet potatoes 30ha, vegetables of all kinds 1,585ha and flowers and ornamental plants about 155ha.

To bring high economic efficiency to farmers, Thường Tín District give financial support to farmers to buy seeds, plants and to spend on production models.

In Mê Linh District, the agricultural sector’s production value in the past nine months is nearly VNĐ1.8 trillion (US$77.6 million), reaching 96 per cent of the plan, up 6.2 per cent over the same period last year.

The production value of the crop production sector reached nearly VNĐ1.3 trillion ($56.1 million), up 1.4 per cent over the same period last year.

The crop structure has been shifted in the direction of gradually reducing ineffective rice and maize acreage to crops of high economic value such as flowers and green vegetables, with a total area of ​​nearly 20ha, deployed to build 40 models of “one commune one product”.

The livestock sector in the district has also thrived, with the number of pigs increasing to nearly 34,000 and poultry nearly 1.6 million.

Chairman of Mê Linh District People's Committee, Hoàng Anh Tuấn said in the last months of the year, the district continued to clean and disinfect barns, as well as vaccinate animals against disease to promote the re-herding of pigs, striving to reach 35,000 pigs by the end of the year.

In addition, the district focuses on cultivating more than 3,320ha of winter crops and promoting product consumption, striving for agricultural production value increased by more than 10 per cent.

Despite facing many difficulties, in the past nine months, the capital’s agriculture sector has grown by more than 3 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Director of the department Chu Phú Mỹ said that along with increasing field inspection, forecasting, detecting and early handling of diseases, the department would work with localities to adjust the structure and area of ​​sowing and bring high-yield and high-quality varieties into production.

The department also focuses on directing and guiding localities to promote re-herding, increase the total number of pigs in the direction of biosafety associated with disease prevention and control, to develop aquaculture of high economic value and promote the development of production chains and product consumption, ensuring the supply of quality agricultural products to the capital in the last months of the year.

The agricultural sector will make efforts to successfully implement the winter crop, and achieve the growth target of 2020, he said. 

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