HCM CITY – HCM City plans to build a new reservoir to cope with the shortage of clean water and ensure residents’ quality of life.
The city’s water supply industry has submitted a plan to build a reservoir with a capacity of 5 million m3, which could provide clean water to the people of HCM City within seven days.
It is expected to be built 1km upstream from the confluence of the Sài Gòn and Thị Tính rivers in order to avoid pollution and saltwater intrusion.
The head of the water supply management department of Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO), Trần Kim Thạch, said that water quality is seriously affected by storms, floods, unusual droughts and environmental pollution.
Thạch suggested short-term solutions such as adjusting the flow of water from reservoirs to ensure uninterrupted water supply.
He told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the water supply industry in the city had always been closely related to two reservoirs upstream of the Sài Gòn River (Dầu Tiếng Lake) and Đồng Nai River (Trị An Lake).
All involved parties every day inform one another about the quality level of the river water. When an incident occurs that pollutes water sources, the upstream river reservoir will discharge clean water to dilute and wash away the pollution in the water.
During a recent seminar, water supply experts from Taiwan (China), Japan, Korea, Singapore, Bangladesh and Israel expressed concern about the decline of clean water sources due to climate change.
HCM City stressed the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in limiting the source of clean water globally, especially in parts of the US where people are experiencing a severe drought in the summer of 2021.
A prolonged drought since 2020 has also brought challenges to Taiwan’s water supply companies. Extremely low rainfall has made it difficult to store clean water.
Singapore, with a rapidly growing population and limited resources, has prepared multiple solutions to provide clean water for domestic and industrial activities, including turning seawater into fresh water for locals to use.
Meanwhile, in HCM City, experts are worried about saline intrusion, flooding and pollutant discharge, which affect clean water supply. Together with irregular rainfall caused by climate change, the city will soon face water shortages similar to what Bangkok has been experiencing.
The amount of the city’s groundwater reserve is decreasing due to long-term over-exploitation.
Students develop e-portal to bring VN agricultural products to the world
A group of RMIT students has designed an electronic portal to bring Vietnamese agricultural products closer to domestic and international buyers.
|Members of the AgriBiz start-up.|
The students from the Faculty of Business and Management, RMIT University Vietnam are Lac Tu Chau, Ha Tuan Nghiep and Le Khac Yen Nhi. They started their business (AgriBiz) a year ago with the desire to help Vietnam’s agricultural industry make a mark in the international market through the transformation and restructuring of the domestic market.
Understanding the difficulties that both buyers and suppliers face in the process of finding agricultural products that meet domestic and international standards, Lac Tu Chau, founder of AgriBiz, was determined to build database for key agricultural products of Vietnam.
“Through our portal, buyers can easily access and check the product’s farming data – the basic information for the raw material purchasing stage before they proceed with the transaction,” says Lac Tu Chau.
Chau believes that AgriBiz benefits Vietnamese farmers because they can reach more customers on a global scale.
Currently, AgriBiz focuses on building a database on mangoes from the Southwest region because “this product has met the global GAP standard and has an input database”. The team hopes to expand the product line and to use blockchain to add more power to the portal.
AgriBiz is one of the five winning teams of the recent NINJA Accelerator competition, a start-up support project sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Vietnam ranks 44th in Global Innovation Index 2021
Vietnam ranked 44th out of 132 countries and economies in the Global Innovation Index 2021 (GII 2021) which was announced by the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on September 20.
The country kept its first position among the 34 lower-middle income economies in the index.
The GII 2021 report released on September 20 mentioned Vietnam as one of four middle-income economies (the others being Turkey, India and the Philippines) with the potential to change the global innovation landscape, systematically catching up with other economies like China.
Vietnam, along with India, Kenya and the Republic of Moldova, holds the record for overperforming on innovation relative to their level of development for the 11th year in a row, according to the report.
This year’s GII data shows that Northern America and Europe continue to lead far in front of other regions for innovation, but the innovation performance of South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania (SEAO) has been the most dynamic in the past decade, and is the only region closing the gap.
The 2021 Global Innovation Index, issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), ranks the innovative performance of world economies based on seven factors: human capital and research, knowledge and technology output, infrastructure, market sophistication, business sophistication, creative outputs and institutions.
Vietnam has been part of the index since its debut in 2007, climbing up steadily since 2013, after several years of hovering just above the 70th place. The country ranked 42nd in the index in 2019 and 2020, which is explained by the change in Vietnam’s calculation of its GDP./.
Việt Nam improves the legality of imported timber
ĐÀ NẴNG – Germany’s International Co-operation Agency (GIZ) launched an e-training course on the due diligence system (DDS) for timber imports into Việt Nam, promoting principles of due diligence and its application in business activities of timber operators.
The training course comprises a combination of theory and exercises developed based on real-life cases, and the Volunteer Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT).
GIZ said the online course is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and co-financed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom.
It is a joint initiative implemented by GIZ and Preferred by Nature – an accredited research organisation in the forestry sector formerly known as NEPCon.
“Many countries, including Việt Nam, require enterprises to exercise due diligence. Due diligence requires enterprises to be responsible for their timber supply chains and to respect legality requirements. Taking the DDS e-training course will enable participants to learn about the Viet Nam Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS). The course also gives participants practical insights on how to set up due diligence systems for their own enterprises,” said Anja Barth, Project Coordinator and Chief Technical Advisor of the GIZ/Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s project.
As the representative of the timber industry, the Việt Nam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFOREST) is supporting the Government to build capacity for timber enterprises, helping them to meet international standards on sustainable development.
“By signing the VPA/FLEGT, the Government of Việt Nam has committed to eliminate illegal timber. Each Vietnamese enterprise should be well equipped to practise due diligence for the sake of their own survival and of the timber community in Việt Nam,” said Ngô Sỹ Hoài, Vice-chairman and Secretary General of VIFOREST.
The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA/FLEGT) between Việt Nam and the EU entered into effect in June 2019. Since then, the Vietnamese Government has carried out various activities to enhance timber legality in the supply chain. The issuance of Decree 102/2020/ND-CP on the Vietnam Timber Legality Assurance System (VNTLAS) in October 2020 was a crucial milestone of the VPA process in Việt Nam. It is expected to raise the reputation of Vietnamese timber products in international markets while promoting the industry’s development. However, implementation of the Decree is facing challenges due to new requirements under the VNTLAS and the VPA.
GIZ is collaborating with the Việt Nam Administration of Forestry to support Vietnamese stakeholders through various capacity building activities.
GIZ and VIFOREST organised five pilot training modules on due diligence for more than 200 participants from timber enterprises and associations in key timber processing hubs, such as Nghệ An, Bình Định, Đồng Nai, Bình Dương and HCM City between December of 2020 and April of 2021. Based on the participants’ feedback, the training modules were improved and converted into the free DDS e-training course, which is accessible to anyone with an interest in the timber trade.
The free online course offers a sustainable capacity building solution available to a wide range of timber operators and other stakeholders. Verification agencies, including forest protection departments and customs authorities, are encouraged to take the course. Their active participation in enforcing the legal compliance of timber importers is an integral part of the VPA process in Việt Nam.
The project is implemented by GIZ and the Việt Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST).
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