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Finding the right approach to lower marine plastic pollution

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Implementing subprojects of the Rethinking Plastics Project to collect marine litter in Phu Yen and manage ship waste at Cat Lai Port will promote the conservation of the Vietnamese marine environment.

Finding the right approach to lower marine plastic pollution

Funded by the European Union and the German federal government, the Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter Project is working on policy development and practical initiatives to reduce plastic waste and marine litter in Vietnam through the promotion of circular economy principles and responsible practices.

Several pilot projects financed under the project test new approaches or implement best practices. Two different but equally important approaches focus on ports and fisheries to address marine litter reduction: Meanwhile, a Fishing for Litter project will mobilise fishermen from Phu Yen Province will collect litter from the sea and return it to the land for recycling, and a ship waste management project at Cat Lai will try to enhance port management practices to reduce the illegal dumping of ship waste. 

Mobilising responsible fishermen

In mid-May, VIR spoke to Nguyen Tu Cuong, head of the Vietnam Fisheries Society’s Sustainable Fisheries Development Board and an expert collaborating with the Rethinking Plastics Project.

Cuong said, “We are currently preparing information material, protective clothing, and the seine nets that will be used to collect waste by the fishing community. Besides that, we are completing plans to store the marine litter we have collected. For now, we believe the optimal plan is to build plastic waste containers on the coast. We want to be ready once the pandemic has settled down.”

VINAFIS in collaboration with the Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation of the Directorate of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will pilot the local project in Vietnam based on Fishing for Litter schemes deployed across Southeast Asia.

The programme will encourage fishing vessels to collect plastic waste from the sea and return it to the mainland for recycling. It will do this through an extensive communication campaign on the harmful impacts of plastics waste to environment, sea creatures and human beings and the creation of a volunteer movement in the fishing community.

“The Fishing for Litter project is expected to help identify successful practices that can be replicated in other areas and contribute to the implementation of the National Action Plan for Management of Ocean Plastic Waste in the Fishery sector in 2020-2030,” said Fanny Quertamp, national senior advisor at Expertise France, one of the agencies implementing the Rethinking Plastics Project.

According to Cuong, if the project is implemented to plan, Vietnam will become the first country in Asia to provide an accurate report backed up by statistics on the amount of litter on the ocean floor (based on waste collected by fishermen), the volume of waste collected in one trip by the average ship manned by five people, and the waste the average fisherman discharges into the environment each day.

To disseminate the proper methodology to collect and classify ocean waste on fishing boats, the team will conduct a training course for 50 fishermen and establish a team of volunteers with the participation of 30 ships and 150 fishermen.

Besides all these efforts, Cuong highlighted the need to discuss remuneration possibilities in the long term. “We need to consider to pay people for the collection of waste at sea. On land, cleaners have income. Why should we not apply this mechanism for the sea? Moreover, while in the short term it is possible to call for volunteer participation from fishermen, in the long term, they need to focus on their main job of fishing to ensure their families’ livelihood. We can only secure their participation if they are paid for the plastic waste they collect at sea,” Cuong said.

“For now, the project will use part of its budget to cover these payments, but this is only a short-term solution. In the long term, VINAFIS will propose the government to allocate part of the environmental tax income from plastic bags to finance these kind of activities,” he said.

Finding the right approach to lower marine plastic pollution
Cat Lai Port will be the testing ground for tried and tested EU practices to enhance port administration. — Photo: Saigon New Port

Controlling plastic litter at source

Waste generated on ships around the world is often illegally discharged into the water due to missing efficient collection and clear structures for waste management at ports. This can cause long-term impacts on the environment. Recognising the need for action, Vietnam’s National Action Plan for Management of Marine Plastic Litter by 2030 necessitates the development of efficient waste management systems to collect, sort, and dispose waste and to send it to appropriate facilities for treatment.

One issue with collecting waste at source is that some hazardous waste, banned from being discharged into the sea, must be collected directly at the ports and then sent to the appropriate facilities for treatment. This process needs the involvement of many parties under close supervision by relevant authorities and requires solid planning.

Filling in this spot by aiming to provide crucial policy support is the Rethinking Plastics Project. Expertise France, on behalf of and for the benefit of Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine), is also currently implementing a ship waste management project in Cat Lai Port in Ho Chi Minh City to come up with best practices that can be replicated across Vietnam’s ports.

Tran Thi Tu Anh, deputy director of the Science, Technology and Environment Department under Vinamarine, said that in its first phase, which was completed in February, the project successfully conducted a technical assessment of the existing management system at the port, along with a review of Vietnamese regulations in the field. This served to identify best practices that have proven effective in EU ports and would fit the Vietnamese context.

The project has recommended to improve the waste notification system through which vessels can report in advance on the type and volume of waste they would deliver to the port reception facility. Additionally, the project has also proposed designing an incentivising cost recovery system (waste fee) and preparing a ship waste management manual to offer guidance for vessel operators and other stakeholders.

The key tasks of the second phase of the pilot project will be compiled based on recommendations put forth during a workshop, which took place in January. The recommendations include upgrading the online waste notification processes at Vinamarine Ho Chi Minh City (digitalising the process and applying a more informative waste notification form), training stakeholder staff, and circulating the ship waste management manual, which contains all relevant information and exiting procedures.

The results of the second phase will serve as a basis for proposing amendments to Vietnam’s current legal framework on ship waste management. Upon successful implementation, the project and Vinamarine will prepare a concrete action plan for the dissemination of lessons learned from Cat Lai Terminal to other Vietnamese ports.

VIR

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/finding-the-right-approach-to-lower-marine-plastic-pollution-744039.html

Sci-tech-environment

Vietnam sets up technological centers to combine healthcare, ICT to fight Covid-19

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The establishment of technological centers at central and local levels will help connect knowledge and experience of the health care and ICT sectors in deploying measures to prevent and control Covid-19.

Vietnam sets up technological centers to combine healthcare, ICT to fight Covid-19

A new approach for Covid-19 prevention and control has been defined by the PM, which is a harmonious, reasonable and effective combination of prevention and attack. Attacking is the important and breakthrough solution, while preventing is a regular, strategic, long-term and decisive measure.

Also, it is necessary to prevent the pandemic from afar and early, before outbreaks occur, strictly following the ‘5K plus vaccine and technology application’ principle. The three directions of Covid-19 attacks include proactive testing, compulsory technology, and vaccines. Of these, the vaccine is the decisive direction of attack.

On June 4, the national technology center for Covid-19 prevention and control was established with nine core members who are healthcare and technology experts.

The center has two major tasks, including gathering technology and knowledge forces, uniting the strength of forces; and synthesizing data, applying big data analysis technologies and artificial intelligence in analyzing, processing and forecasting the pandemic situation.

The center has two major tasks, including gathering technology and knowledge forces, uniting the strength of forces; and synthesizing data, applying big data analysis technologies and artificial intelligence in analyzing, processing and forecasting the pandemic situation.

The center runs with close cooperation of leading experts in the healthcare and ICT sectors, as well as the participation of Vietnam’s leading technology firms.

In order to ensure a quick response to the complicated developments of the pandemic, the center operates under a flexible model, with key members and the Help Team always at a high 24/7 level of availability to handle all situations related to problems related to technology solutions as well as traceability.

Currently, the key members of the center have a meeting at 7 pm every day to review and overcome technical problems arising during the operation, as well as find new solutions to help optimize and improve the efficiency of medical professional processes.

According to the center’s representative, just after 10 days of operation, the center has completed the integration of information systems to support pandemic prevention and control. The system is capable of supporting tens of thousands of people tracing infections at wards and communes and serving millions of users.

“If localities strictly observe MOH’s instructions on using health declaration apps and detecting close contacts, if business points, working offices and entertainment places, head offices of agencies and crowded locations all control the entry/exit with QR Code, the information systems will help trace and localize F0 and F1 cases quickly, just in seconds or minutes,” he said.

Establishing medical and technological connection points

Bac Giang is one of Covid-19 epicenters in the fourth outbreak in Vietnam. In an effort to deploy technological solutions uniformly to help stamp out Covid-19, the provincial authorities have established a technological center for fighting Covid-19 in the locality.

The center gathers technology forces for a 24/7 operation serving Covid-19 prevention and control in Bac Giang province. It is located in the headquarters of the Bac Giang Department of Information and Communications and managed by the department’s Deputy Director Nguyen Gia Phong.

This is the focal management point that coordinates agencies, organizations and businesses to participate in technical and technology-related support and cooperation to support the pandemic prevention and control in the province.

The Ministry of Information and Communication has recently proposed that HCMC set up a technology center or a taskforce to prevent and control the pandemic at the local information and communications department. It would operate with the co-chair of the local health departments under the spirit “technological force and medical force are one; technology serves health”.

This center or taskforce would connect closely with the national center to quickly and effectively implement the technological measures to fight the pandemic.

“Covid has been spreading with no administrative boundary. If localities develops their own apps, they will only have local information. The national center has data of the whole country, so it will be more effective,” MIC said.

In an urgent Directive No 10 issued on the evening of June 19, HCMC Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong assigned the Department of Information and Communications to set up a technology working group with the presence of Department of Health officers, which will connect with the national center to work on ICT measures to prevent and control the pandemic.

Explaining the role of the national and local centers, Do Lap Hien from the national center said the central technology center is the convergence point, where the two sectors of health and information and communication co-chair the deployment of technology application to fight Covid-19 nationwide.

Meanwhile, the local centers in cities and provinces are the model of coordination of activities of the two sectors of health and information and communications in the localities.

“The national center will build apps, give technical guidance and support nationwide, while local centers will deploy technological solutions in their localities and supervise the application in the society,” he said. “The central center is in charge of ensuring the common operation of the systems, while local centers are in charge of exploiting and using technological solutions to combat the epidemic in reality.” 

Van Anh

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/vietnam-sets-up-technological-centers-to-combine-healthcare-ict-to-fight-covid-19-748105.html

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Repairs to undersea cable scheduled to complete on July 7

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Repairs to the Asia Africa Europe 1 (AAE-1) undersea fiber optic cable will be delayed to July 1 and expected to complete six days later, according to the managing board of the cable.

Repairs to undersea cable scheduled to complete on July 7

Illustrative image

Repairs to the Asia Africa Europe 1 (AAE-1) undersea fiber optic cable will be delayed to July 1 and expected to complete six days later, according to the managing board of the cable.

The undersea cable had a problem on its S1H.1 section on May 25, which caused disruptions to a part of services of domestic telecom providers.

Repairing work was initially scheduled to start on June 22 and finish on July 13. Although the start date is postponed for eight days, repair time will be shortened.
As a result, Vietnam’s internet connection with the world is projected to fully recover on July 7.

The AAE-1 is among important submarine cable systems of Vietnam alongside four others of the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), the Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG), the TGN-Intra Asia Cable System (TGN-IA), and the South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3 (SMW-3)./.

Source: VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/repairs-to-undersea-cable-scheduled-to-complete-on-july-7-748330.html

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Attacker on VOV Online Newspaper prosecuted

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The Department of Cyber Security and Hi-tech Crime Prevention, Ministry of Public Security (A05) announced that the Investigation Agency has prosecuted one cybercriminal in the attacker team on VOV Online Newspaper.

Attacker on VOV Online Newspaper prosecuted
Major General Le Minh Manh in the press conference related to attack on VOV Online Newspaper.

Major General Le Minh Manh, Deputy Director of A05, stated that his department has already pinpointed the attackers on VOV Online Newspaper and prosecuted one defendant. Detailed information about this attacker is not yet revealed as the case is still ‘under investigation’.

A05 affirmed that members of this group are all from Vietnam, with no foreign interference.

In related news, the Criminal Police Division, HCMC Department of Public Security (PC02) is handling the denunciation of Nguyen Phuong Hang (born in 1971, living in District 3) about her being slandered and humiliated on many social network platforms like Facebook and YouTube.

Accordingly, Hang reported that Facebook accounts named Dam Ngoc Tuyen, Huynh Ngoc Thien Huong, Xom nhieu chuyen, Giac Tinh Nhan, Maria Tran, Dinh Thu Hien and YouTube accounts named Kim Mao TV Hoang Ngoc, Hot News, Happy Media, Bien Nien tieu su have lately posted and uploaded clips with fake information to slander and humiliate her as well as her family, her company.

This has negatively affected Hang’s life and work, so she filed a denunciation to the Ministry of Public Security and the HCMC Department of Public Security so that functional agencies can stop and handle these illegal actions.

Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/attacker-on-vov-online-newspaper-prosecuted-748101.html

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