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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



Vietnamese YouTubers claim they no longer produce content but videos still appear



Most owners of the videos with titles “delete channel” and “last videos” on YouTube are still operating.

Vietnamese YouTubers claim they no longer produce content but videos still appear

Tho Nguyen last month decided to delete or hide all her videos and stop producing YouTube content

Tho Nguyen last month decided to delete or hide all her videos and stop producing YouTube content after the scandal related to the posting of a clip in which she was beseeching a doll to grant luck to students who have to attend upcoming exams.

More recently, ViruSs (Dang Tien Hoang) on April 1 stated he will erase the channel to renew himself. Prior to that, many disreputable YouTubers, including NTN, many times announced the leave. However, their video still appears regularly.

Vu Hung from Hoc Vien YouTube (YouTube Creator Academy) with 150,000 members commented that this is commonly seen, saying that content producers need to play tricks to attract viewers, because the more viewers, the bigger money they earn from ads.

According to Hung, when announcing their retirement from content production, YouTubers can attract old followers who have not accessed their channels for a long time, and now want look again to find out what is going on.

This is a good way to increase the number of interactions for the channels, which have high numbers of subscribers but have seen number of views decreasing because of algorithm changes, consumer behavior, overlapped content scanning, and copyright problems.

According to Hung, the decision of Tho Nguyen to stop producing content and hiding her video clips to avoid negative reports and public pressure, was a wise move.

ViruSs and NTN (Nguyen Thanh Nam) are similar cases. “They stopped producing content on their channels to avoid additional reports,” he said.

And when old channels reappear, content producers can lure high numbers of viewers back and fans will be willing to click ‘follow’ again.

Hung noted that there is a difference between Vietnamese and foreign viewers. Vietnamese viewers are not as choosy when deciding to follow channels. In many cases, they click ‘follow’ just because of the invitations of channels’ owners.

Meanwhile, in YouTubers’ groups, members invite each other to subscribe, and buy views and subscribers. The announcement about content production therefore has little significance.

Nguyen Hai (Rikaki Gaming, 1.62 million subscribers), a creator, said these YouTubers are rich but still have to produce clips to attract views.

“YouTubers will ‘retire’ only if no one is interested in them, and they won’t stop working just because of scandals or criticism,” Hai said. 

Phuong Nguyen


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Project to implement Paris Agreement in Việt Nam to be sped up




A traffic jam during rush hour in Thanh Xuân District in Hà Nội. Vehicle emission is one of Việt Nam’s biggest source of pollution. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Steering Committee of the project ‘Support to Việt Nam for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement’ (VN-SIPA) held its second meeting in Hà Nội yesterday with the participation of representatives from ministries, sectors, and localities.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Lê Công Thành highlighted the project’s support in implementing Việt Nam’s nationally determined contributions (NDC) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

To speed up the project, he asked participants to make proposals and discuss the 2021 plan, especially activities relating to State management of climate change and enhancing Việt Nam’s role and responsibility as a signatory to the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Weert Borner, Deputy Ambassador of Germany in Việt Nam, noted Việt Nam was one of the first countries to build an action plan to realise the Paris Agreement and one of the first to submit and update its NDC.

He said the VN-SIPA supports Việt Nam in creating the necessary conditions for the deal, to mitigate the impacts of climate change and bring environmental and socio-economic benefits for the country.

Phạm Văn Tấn, Vice Director of the Climate Change Administration at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said as COVID-19 is still a major issue, ministries and localities should prepare alternative measures and speed up the implementation of approved plans.

Kia Fariborz, Chief Advisor of the VN-SIPA project, said last year, Việt Nam completed and updated its NDC report in September, a move lauded by the international community as it was one of the first 20 countries to do so.

The four-year VN-SIPA project was approved by former Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on April 3, 2019, and has a total cost of 10.3 million euros (US$12.31 million), funded by non-refundable official development assistance (ODA) from Germany. It aims to strengthen the legal framework and national capacity in implementing the Paris Agreement, with the core conducting Việt Nam’s NDC.

So far, it has assisted in the building of a climate change programme in the revised Law on Environmental Protection 2020 as well as climate change management documents and sectoral plans for climate change response. It has defined solutions in the central provinces of Quảng Bình and Hà Tĩnh based on their local ecosystems. —


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Female scientist with PhD in immunology pursues research on rare diseases



Tran Nguyen Kim Thi is a postdoc majoring in AI usage in medicine at the Huge Kaul Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) in the US.

Female scientist with PhD in immunology pursues research on rare diseases

She obtained a doctorate in immunology in 2020 with research work on the factors of the immune system that affect chronic lung diseases.

Her research found that in patients suffering from uncommon pulmonary fibrosis of unknown origin, their immune systems have a variety of disorders that lead to immune cells attacking their lungs. The damages that accumulate over time turn into hard scarring that replaces normal lung tissue, impairing the lung’s air exchange function.

“The result of the research has been used by Prof Steven Duncan, my teacher, to apply therapies or drugs that eliminate or inhibit the production of new antibodies to treat patients with severe pulmonary fibrosis,” she said.

“Clinical experiments show very satisfactory results. About 50 percent of serious patients under the treatment of the professor have shown improvements. Some people who seem to be dying can get up and walk,” she said.

However, Thi did not continue the project for her postdoc research. She decided to shift to do research on the application of AI in biomedicine. She no longer carries out experiments at biochemical laboratories, but does mostly programming at the computer.

“There is a bitter truth that the percentage of successful research in biomedicine laboratories, as well as other experimental sciences, is very modest. About 90 percent of projects of new researchers fail. There are researchers who still cannot gain achievements after five years to complete their doctoral course,” Thi said, explaining her decision.

Another reason that led to her shift was that she believed she could help many people more directly and quickly with her current work – using AI in medicine to treat patients suffering from uncommon diseases, than by implementing biomedical projects as she did in the past.

Previously, her research was in severe and uncommon chronic lung diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis of unknown origin which has the rate of 1/10,000 people a year.

Now her research is applied to very rare diseases, with only few individuals in the world have, mostly because of genetic causes. The symptoms of the diseases show very early. Patients’ relatives come to precision medicine institutes to find the answers why their children have the disease.

Liberal education

“I believed that studying at the (liberal arts) school would promote my abilities. If I had studied at a normal school, I would not have followed the path of doing scientific research that I am doing now because of the common thought that women should study economics, trade or finance,”

Tran Nguyen Kim Thi

Fifteen years ago, Thi, who was a ninth grader at a small school in Di Linh, Lam Dong province, decided to leave her hometown for Da Lat City to study at the city’s school for the gifted.

After finishing high school, she passed the entrance exam to the Foreign Trade University, a prestigious school. However, she left the school after one semester, which was a shocking decision in the eyes of her friends and relatives.

She then spent time on learning English, attended standardized tests, prepared essays and searched for information to apply for full scholarships.

Thi chose St John’s College, a liberal arts school, which offered a scholarship of $200,000 for four-year study.

“I believed that studying at the school would promote my abilities. If I had studied at a normal school, I would not have followed the path of doing scientific research that I am doing now because of the common thought that women should study economics, trade or finance,” she said.

When following tertiary education, Thi spent her internship at a lab on immunology because she once suffered from an autoimmune disease.

“When learning about my disease, I read a lot of documents and found it very interesting, so I decided to study immunology in the second year at school,” she recalled.

Thi got a letter of introduction from a teacher, which helped her obtain a scholarship.

When asked if it was hectic doing and studying many things, she admitted that she sometimes felt giddy.

“However, modern society needs people with specialized knowledge and broad knowledge. It would be better if you have deep and broad knowledge. For me, broad understanding both helps society and makes my life more interesting,” she said.

Thi’s life can be seen in her images of a young, healthy woman on her personal page. She travels, does physical exercise, participates in festivals, and has a special passion for dancing.

Because of her appearance and personality, she sometimes has trouble because she “does not look like a researcher”.

“Asian people are thought to study well, work hard, have few opinions, and be reserved. But I don’t look like this,” she explained.

Thi is now striving for a balanced life and doesn’t spend all her time on her career.

“I believe that I will learn all my life. I realize that what I like to do is to learn. But this doesn’t mean that I have to study at school, because there are many ways to learn. You can learn something from an article in a fashion journal,” she said. 

Ngan Anh – Phuong Thu


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