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Mekong Delta saves winter-spring crop from drought, saltwater intrusion



Farmers harvest the 2020 – 21 winter – spring rice in Tiền Giang Province’s Gò Công Tây District. – VNA/ Photo Minh Trí

HCM CITY – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta has protected its winter-spring crops from saltwater intrusion and drought by taking preventive measures in the ongoing dry season.

Speaking at a meeting in Cần Thơ City last week, Lê Thanh Tùng, deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plant Cultivation Department, said the yield and quality of the crop, especially in the delta’s coastal areas, would not be adversely affected.

These achievements were the results of localities taking measures such as sowing the winter – spring rice crop earlier than usual and growing short-term rice varieties, he said.

The delta, the country’s largest rice producer, sowed about 1.5 million hectares of rice for the 2020 – 21 winter – spring crop. Farmers have harvested about 350,000ha so far, according to the Plant Cultivation Department. Harvesting of the remaining rice areas will be done until May.

The winter – spring rice is estimated to have an average yield of more than 6.9 tonnes per hectare, up nearly 100 kilogrammes against the last winter – spring rice crop. Farmers in the delta are getting good prices, at VNĐ6,800 – 7,500 a kilo.

Only small winter – spring rice areas in some provinces like Trà Vinh, Long An and Bạc Liêu will face saltwater intrusion and drought at the end of the crop, according to the South Institute of Water Resources Research.

In recent years, saltwater intrusion from the sea through river mouths has severely affected agricultural production in the dry season.

The peak of saltwater intrusion will occur between February 25 and March 4, and the level is estimated to equal to the 2016 figure but lower than last year’s level, according to the South Institute of Water Resources Research.

The Plant Cultivation Department has told delta localities to store fresh water through various means like irrigation reservoirs. Water resources need to be ensured for freshwater and brackish-water areas in the delta’s central region, and fresh water should be stored in coastal areas.

The delta accounts for 47 per cent of the country’s total rice farming land and produces 56 per cent of the country’s rice output. It contributes up to 90 per cent of the country’s rice export volume.–



Innovations to implement Việt Nam’s climate change targets




Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam, speaks at the Youth4Climate Conference, in Hà Nội on Thursday. — Photo Kiều Vân 

HÀ NỘI — Youth Union members and young people, as Việt Nam’s future leaders, play an important role to implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) targets, said Phạm Văn Tấn, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE).

He was speaking at the Youth4Climate Conference, in Hà Nội on Thursday which marked the beginning of the Youth4Climate Initiative in Việt Nam.  

Organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Việt Nam, MONRE and the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, participants at the event heard the report ‘Youth for Climate Action in Việt Nam’, which was fully led and co-written by 20 outstanding young people that was made last December.

The report depicted the bottlenecks young people have faced in undertaking climate action as well as accelerators they identified to fast track their contributions to the NDC implementation and the transition to a greener and low-carbon Việt Nam in four key areas: climate mitigation, climate adaptation, nature-based solutions, and climate policies.

Nguyễn Ngọc Lương, Secretary of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, said: “We are willing to introduce new creative initiatives that can attract the mass participation of youth and generate momentum for youth to respond to climate change as part of their self-awareness and continuous lifestyle.”

“Youth are the powerhouse for innovation and action, and it is our role, as UNDP Việt Nam, to help them reach capacity,” Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam, said.

“We are delighted to hear the key findings from the report, the first report entirely co-written by youth, in which they have provided their unique insights and perspectives to make climate action and the NDC more youth- responsive and youth-driven.”

At the event, Mai Hoàng, one of the report’s writers, said she believed Vietnamese young people would be successful in implementing the Roadmap for Youth4Climate Action, “with specific proposals to enhance youth capacity in mainstreaming the NDCs, with the right support from youths as well as the Government and other relevant organisations.”

The Youth4Climate Initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of existing youth representatives and networks to advance climate actions at national and international forums, through consistent and coordinated efforts and enhanced collaboration with the Government, UN agencies, development partners, private sector, and civil society organisations in future climate initiatives and policies.

The Youth4Climate Initiative is implemented under UNDP Climate Promise, a global programme through which UNDP is committed to supporting 115 countries in enhancing their NDCs, by 2020. — 



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Vietnam actively contributes to ASEAN environmental cooperation



Vietnam will actively join activities of the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC), as well as continue its coordinating role in performing relevant activities in 2021,

 according to the ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN)’s office in Vietnam (ASOEN Vietnam Office).

Vietnam actively contributes to ASEAN environmental cooperation
Vietnam actively contributes to ASEAN environmental cooperation. – Illustrative image

 Vietnam will actively join activities of the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC), as well as continue its coordinating role in performing relevant activities in 2021, according to the ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN)’s office in Vietnam (ASOEN Vietnam Office).

This year, within ASOEN cooperation, Vietnam will promote cooperation and sharing of information, data and experience, and perform well its role as the host country of the 11th AWGCC Meeting, the 5th ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City (ESC) Award, the 4th ceremony to award the potential ESC certificate.

Vietnam will proactively participate in and cooperate closely with Japan and other ASEAN member countries in implementing the ASEAN-Japan cooperation project on environment, climate change and marine waste, while maintaining close cooperation with the Republic of Korea and other member states to carry out cooperation programmes and projects on the environment and climate change.

It will work with partner countries and international organisations to implement ASEAN cooperation activities on the environment, especially Norway, Germany, the European Union (EU), and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ).

As a responsible member of the ASEAN Community, in 2020, Vietnam demonstrated its efforts and determination to successfully fulfill assigned responsibilities, significantly contributing to the regional integration process in terms of natural resources and the environment, as well as played a crucial role in expanding environmental cooperation with countries and international and regional organisations.

Marine plastic debris, and marine and coastal environmental problems are seen as the biggest among environmental challenges facing ASEAN countries, the office said.

Vietnam strongly supports the building of an ASEAN action plan on marine plastic waste prevention, said Nguyen Que Lam, Deputy Director-General of the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands and head of the ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME).

Through jointly building and implementing the regional action plan, ASEAN member states will agree on common standards, concepts and data, and jointly build a regional foundation serving sharing of knowledge, experience, and advanced applications in monitoring and minimising plastic waste, he stressed.

Vietnam has been recognised as a country with high biodiversity in the world. The biodiversity has made a great contribution to ensuring food security and livelihoods for people, maintaining genetic resources of animals and plants; supplying construction materials and fuel and pharmaceutical sources, and forming natural landscapes.

Vietnam has actively joined international treaties on biodiversity such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Regarding the building of the ASEAN action plan on marine plastic waste prevention, Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries have shown a spirit of cohesion to coordinate with the international community in solving global environmental issues.

Vietnam actively contributes to ASEAN environmental cooperation
At the 31st Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN 31) and Related Meetings. Photos: VNA

At the 31st Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN 31) and related meetings, the Vietnamese delegation actively contributed comments and proposals to important issues, demonstrating its responsibility for the region, and strengthening multilateral relations as well as ties with each country within ASEAN and ASEAN 3.

Vietnam also petitioned other ASEAN member countries to address urgent environmental problems, including cross-border water and air pollution, ocean plastic debris and climate change.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam also called on ASEAN member countries to closely cooperate and gather resources to effectively control the crisis.  VNA


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HCM City to develop more 5G-related applications



After the successful launch of 5G piloting programs in Ho Chi Minh City by Vietnam’s three major mobile network providers, namely Viettel, VinaPhone, and MobiFone, there comes the demand for useful 5G-related applications for smart devices.

 SGGP Newspaper conducted an interview with Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Information and Communications Le Quoc Cuong about how to answer this need.

HCM City to develop more 5G-related applications
5G technology provides more chances to develop practical applications in life. Photo: SGGP

Commenting on the 5G piloting programs in major cities of Vietnam like HCM City, Deputy Director Le Quoc Cuong said that seeing the positive results of those programs, Viettel, VinaPhone, and MobiFone all have a plan to expand the coverage to 13 inner districts of HCMC and the central area of Thu Duc City.

Obviously, this has provided a valuable chance for residents there to enjoy the high speed technology. It also opens the door for IT businesses located in HCM City to develop corresponding apps making use of cutting edge technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is expected that more and more software pieces in the field of healthcare, traffic, and education will be introduced to the public in the near future.

When being asked about the preparation of HCM City to implement this attractive 5G technology in establishing a smart city model and digital economy, the Deputy Director shared that wisely-invested 5G infrastructure will no doubt become the strong foundation for other developments in different industries.

Therefore, at present the municipal authorities are working with telecoms businesses to construct more 5G facilities around the city as well as suitable 5G applications, especially those serving the city’s AI program.

The Deputy Director then reported that in HCM City now, there are nearly 10,600 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) for 3G and 4G networks, ensuring the quality of calls and Internet access on mobile devices for users. Based on this, HCM City is going to support telecoms businesses to install the 5G network in 2021.

The new BTS will be eco-friendly and modern, built as the result of mobilizing possible resources in the society. They will be shared among related businesses.

However, Deputy Director Cuong mentioned that not all areas in HCM City are the focus of 5G development. The priority should be in such locations as Saigon Hi-tech Park, the urban area near Vietnam National University – HCMC, where high interactions and real-time communications are vital.

The municipal authorities encourage IT enterprises to invest money and labor in developing applications for smart traffic, construction management, environment monitoring, and tasks in the city’s AI programs. State agencies can then hire available apps or order new ones to use.

When weighing the importance of 5G technology in the digital transformation process and smart urban area forming, the Deputy Director commented that the availability of the digital infrastructure is one critical factor to decide the success of both the digital transformation process and the creation of a smart urban area.

Therefore, the city needs to make sufficient investment in this field to be ready for the use of 5G technology in forming Internet connections and accessing data. These investments include a wider coverage of 4G and 5G networks, appropriate telecoms equipment, powerful computers, and useful software.

With proper preparation for the use of 5G technology, the digital transformation process and smart urban area development in HCM City will be carried out much faster and more sustainable, concluded Deputy Director Cuong.  SGGP

Ba Tan/ Translated by Vien Hong


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