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VN takes digital transformation-related issues to discussion at ITU Digital World



At the ITU Digital World 2021, Vietnam will bring concerns related to its digital transformation for discussion at the Ministerial Roundtable.

ITU Digital World: Việt Nam kéo thế giới cùng giải bài toán chuyển đổi số

Relating to the ITU Digital World 2021, General Secretary of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) told VietNamNet that ITU Digital World has expanded a new space for ITU. “In the past, when we talked about telecommunications, it was still the old image of the fixed phone, but when it comes to the ICT field, it means the new development of technology and application businesses. This is also a growing trend in the world.

“In 2019, the event was held in Hungary and we still called it the ITU Telecom World. Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung proposed changing the name to ITU Digital World. Changing the name of the event from ITU Telecom to ITU Digital World is a great initiative of Vietnam, to reflect the importance of digital technology in the communication ecosystem,” said Mr. Houlin Zhao.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tam said the forerunner of the ITU Ministerial Roundtable and ITU Digital World are the ITU Telecom World, which was organized for the first time by ITU in 1971. This event was officially renamed to ITU Digital World in 2020 at the initiative of Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.

At the previous ITU Ministerial Conferences, the phrase “digital transformation” was never mentioned, just traditional fields such as: 5G, broadband, bringing the Internet and universalizing telecom services to everyone.

This year, Vietnam is hosting the ITU Digital World, which will focus on digital transformation. With the new space, the ITU Digital World will discuss the popularization of telecom and digital services through infrastructure development, promotion of digital transformation, narrowing the digital gap, bringing digital services to everyone at a cheaper price. In particular, ITU has mentioned the issue of online public services, content services aiming to bring the best value to people to develop the digital economy and digital society.

“At the ITU Digital World 2021, Vietnam will bring its digital transformation issue to the discussion of ICT Ministers and experts. At the event, ICT ministers, experts and ICT businesses will share initiatives and propose ideas to solve problems that Vietnam is facing during its digital transformation process. Thus, Vietnam will learn knowledge and experience of the world to solve its own problems,” said Deputy Minister Phan Tam.

In the context of the complicated development of the Covid-19 epidemic, it is very meaningful for Vietnam to host the event. Through this event, Vietnam and the ITU expect to affirm the role and significance of digital technology in improving the resilience and adaptability of countries to global fluctuations and challenges.

Digital transformation will be a hot issue

As planned, the online ITU Ministerial Roundtables will take place from October 12 to 14, 2021, on a digital platform developed by Vietnam. The theme of this event will be: Cutting access network costs to accelerate digital transformation; Accelerating infrastructure development: the role of the Government in digital transformation; Digitizing daily life: public services and digital transformation-driven content.

Focusing on the topic “Affordable Internet Access Expenses Can Accelerate Digital Transformation”, participants will discuss how ensuring universal access of Internet is rapidly becoming an issue of affordability and capacity rather than infrastructure or technology.

According to ITU data, more than 90% of the urban population and more than 70% of the rural population globally have access to 4G, satellite or other technologies by 2020 – but only 51% of the world’s population is using Internet. Barriers to Internet use include affordability, digital capabilities, public awareness, and availability of content in local languages.

This roundtable will raise the big question of how can governments deal with affordability? Can businesses sufficiently manufacture affordable devices that allow people to connect and use the Internet? How can governments work with manufacturers to encourage plans to reduce prices or increase the availability of low-cost equipment? Should the government support access or even provide free connectivity for everyone?

By answering these questions, solutions to the problem of universalizing Internet services to everyone in order to promote digital society and digital economy will be found.

In addition, the ICT Ministers will discuss the issue “Promoting Infrastructure Development: Rethinking the Government’s Role in Digital Transformation”.

Digital technology is transforming all areas of life. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this process, including work from home, Government information and healthcare programmes, testing and tracing apps, and digital vaccination certificates.

The ICT Ministers will also discuss how the pandemic has affected the use of digital content and services. What is the role of government services in general in promoting digital transformation? How can citizens best be equipped with the right digital skills for a true digital future? Are we at risk of a new digital divide in society, where vulnerable groups like the elderly cannot access health care services and essential information without digital devices and digital skills?

With new content about digital transformation, for the first time the ITU Digital World has expanded into a new space and made a qualitative change. Technology is entering every corner of life and making life better. The ITU Digital World 2021 is expected to find breakthrough solutions for a digital future.

Thai Khang



USAID-funded Mekong Delta Coastal Habitat Conservation project launched



A view of Phú Quốc island in Mekong Delta’s Kiên Giang Province. — VNA/ Photo 

HÀ NỘI — A workshop took place both virtually and in-person in Hà Nội on Thursday to launch the Mekong Delta Coastal Habitat Conservation project, which was announced during US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Việt Nam in August.

The workshop was co-organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Directorate of Fisheries under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

With a planned budget of up to US$2.9 million provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project, running from August 2021 to July 2024, aims to protect key coastal habitats in the Mekong Delta region of Việt Nam to increase the sustainability of fisheries, enhance climate change adaptation, and improve biodiversity conservation.

By partnering with businesses, provincial governments, the management board of Phú Quốc Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Phú Quốc National Park in Kiên Giang Province and fishing communities, the project will work to mitigate threats to coastal biodiversity and fisheries, and enhance coastal resilience in the region.

IUCN Việt Nam Country Representative Jake Brunner said the project would help pilot and build new policies as well as open up new opportunities on finance.

Geographically, the project’s activities will focus on the delta’s lowest lying and most vulnerable coastlines along the East and West Seas, Phú Quốc MPA, and three small island clusters of Hải Tặc, Bà Lụa and Nam Du.

The Mekong Delta and its islands are home to 70 per cent of Việt Nam’s mangroves and 90 per cent of its seagrass beds. Fed by the sediment and nutrients from the Mekong River, these habitats support Việt Nam’s richest fishing grounds, but are also under growing threat.

The delta’s mangrove forests, which provide nursery habitat for sea bass, snapper, and other commercially important species, and important protection for coastal communities from storm surges, are declining due to sea level rise.

The delta’s crucial fishery habitats are further threatened by environmental pressures including prolonged droughts, rising temperatures, and aquaculture demand for groundwater, and intensive near-shore fishing which has depleted fish stocks, causing cascading ecological damage.

The main components of the project include strengthening management of Phú Quốc MPA for more effective habitat and species conservation; establishing a network of locally managed marine areas to protect coral reefs, seagrass beds in three island clusters; and exploring solutions to conserve and expand mangrove forests to increase fish nursery habitat and coastal biodiversity.

It is expected that the project’s outcomes will contribute to addressing the systemic threats in the Mekong Delta, in support of ongoing measures being taken by the Government of Việt Nam, such as the revised Fisheries Law, 2018 Resolution 36, Resolution 120, and 2019 Planning Law.

Director of the Directorate of Fisheries Trần Đình Luân said one of the current challenges was to protect the marine environment without affecting the livelihoods of local people.

The project was among concrete steps to raise people’s awareness of sustainable development in coastal areas, he stated.

Quảng Trọng Thao, Deputy Director the Kiên Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the implementation of the project would be of great significance as it would look toward the engagement of many stakeholders in protecting the living environment, such as the community, local businesses, international organisations, managers, and scientists. —


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Hanoi faces waste storage crisis



Xuan Son Landfill in Hanoi’s Son Tay Town stopped receiving waste from October 6 due to overloading. Local authorities have had to move all rubbish to the Nam Son Landfill in Soc Son District which is also reaching full capacity.

Xuan Son Landfill has closed due to overloading

The city is facing a rubbish treatment crisis.

In an urgent report announced by the managers of the Xuan Son Landfill, all three tailings ponds built to contain wastewater from buried rubbish at the landfill have already reached their capacity. The ponds now contain about 54,000 cubic metres of wastewater while some 3,000 cubic metres more are kept in temporary containers.

“We’ve been trying to collect the wastewater spill from the overloaded tailings ponds,” the report said. “The problems have been temporarily curbed and we have started a 10-day pilot plan to receive 500 tonnes of waste a day from October 20.”

The managers have also proposed to build more tailings ponds on a 5.6-hectare area in Ba Vi District.

Over the past two weeks, authorities in Son Tay Town have had to gather rubbish in temporary areas while the Xuan Son Landfill closed. Families in some areas have been asked to keep rubbish in their homes as there were no public places to put the waste.

At present, the capital has two landfills, Xuan Son and Nam Son, which are all treating waste by burying. Both of these landfills have constantly operated beyond their capacity and are now already overloaded.

The Xuan Son Landfill used to deal with 1,400 tonnes of rubbish a day which was 230 tonnes higher than their capacity.

In an effort to deal with the problem, Hanoi People’s Committee Vice-Chairman Nguyen Trong Dong has asked the construction department to build a new 2.2-hectare dumping site in Ba Vi District.

Meanwhile, the Soc Son Waste-to-Energy project in Nam Son Waste Treatment Complex which was expected to deal with 90 percent of waste at the Nam Son Landfill failed to finish construction as expected in September.

The project was approved in late 2017 with a total investment of VND7 trillion (USD303 million). Once completed, it will be the largest in Vietnam and the second largest in the world with a capacity of handling 4,000 tonnes of dry solid waste per day.

Speaking with the Tien Phong Newspaper, a representative from the project investor, the Hanoi-based Thien Y Environmental Energy JSC, said that they faced difficulties in employing staff due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak.

Vice-Chairman Nguyen Trong Dong urged the investor to try to put the plant into operation by March next year.

Source: Dtinews


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Investigation launched to find killers of endangered langurs in Quảng Ngãi



The corpses of five grey-shanked douc langurs (pygathrix cinerea) who are one of the world’s 25 most critically endangered primates. — Photo courtesy of Chí Đại 

QUẢNG NGÃI — Local ranger and police forces have been tracking illegal hunters who killed five grey-shanked douc langurs (pygathrix cinerea). The remains of the critically endangered species were found at Kon Căng forest in Kon Dốc commune of the central province’s Ba Tơ District.

The grey-shanked douc langur is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list as one of the world’s 25 most critically endangered primates. The primates can only be found in Việt Nam.

Head of Ba Tơ forest protection section, Ngô Vĩnh Phong, said remains of the five endangered primates were found by a patrol on October 8. The local rangers, police and militia recovered valuable evidence left behind by the hunters which they hope will aid their investigation. 

He said hunters had left the forest when rangers came, leaving the five corpses, one motorbike, an air tank, 53 dust shots and a silencer at the site.

Phong said the illegal hunters used handmade air guns to kill the primates, based on an examination of the bodies.  

The forest is under the management of Ba Tơ forestry private company, he added.

It’s the worst illegal hunting case of endangered wildlife in the province since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Frankfurt Zoological Society, some 1,000 grey-shanked doucs have been found in forests of Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định, Kon Tum and Gia Lai.

According to the provincial forest department, at least three illegal logging cases have been found in protected forest areas in Phổ Phong Commune of Đức Phổ Town, Sơn Long Commune of Sơn Tây District and Long Môn Village in Minh Long District between late September and early October.

The province plans to allocate 6ha of coastal forest protection area for the development of the Dung Quất-Sa Huỳnh Road. —


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