Mekong Delta farmers Urged to Protect Evironment - News on 22 December 2016

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Mekong Delta catfish farmers urged to protect environment

The loss rate in catfish farming has been increasing in recent years, mainly due to environmental damage.

The Mekong River Delta, with the Tien and Hau Rivers of 400 kilometers in length, is an ideal area for farming catfish. As cultivation is simple, catfish breeding in recent years has expanded, and most of the provinces now have catfish programmes. The loss rate in catfish farming has been increasing in recent years, mainly due to environmental damage.

Reports show there are about 5,000 hectares of intensive catfish farming in the Mekong Delta, with a large scale closed process of breeders, feed, farming and processing. Intensive farming includes a large volume of input materials but only a small volume of harvested fish. The remaining is waste discharged to the environment. Industrial feed with high nutrients, rich in protein and phosphorus, affects water quality. Farmers estimate they use 1.7-2 kilos of general feed for one kilo of fish. This means …

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Hanoi vows to develop high-quality, state-owned schools

Hanoi has 13 high-quality state-owned schools, all of which began in a pilot program in 2014. The city plans to have 20 more high-quality state-owned schools at different education levels by 2020.

The Hanoi People’s Council has approved a new resolution on the financial mechanism for high-quality state-owned education establishments. Under the resolution, the maximum tuition for high-quality state-owned schools, to be applied from the 2016-2017 to 2019-2020 academic year, will be increasing. High-quality state-owned schools are understood as schools run by the state which satisfy high requirements in facilities and teaching staff to provide high-quality education services.

The ceiling level for preschool and primary school will be VND3.9 million a month in 2016-2017 and VND5.1 million for the 2019-2020 academic year. As for secondary and high school, the tuition will be VND4.1 million a month in 2016-2017 and VND5.3 million for 2019-2020. The Hanoi Education …

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Vietnamese exports fall short of annual growth target

The government has already lowered the export target for 2017. Vietnam's export growth target of 10 percent is likely to be out of reach this year, the government's online news portal reported.

Export growth only rose by 7.5 percent on-year to around $160 billion from January to November, and no significant increases are forecast in December. “This means the 10 percent goal is practically unachievable,” the site concluded. Minister of Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that the country has faced a number of export obstacles this year with political instability in major markets dragging down consumer demand. He cited rice as an example.

The country's rice exports fell by 25 percent in value in the 11-month period after China and other neighboring countries reduced import volumes. Vietnam’s textile industry, the country's second largest export sector last year, is forecast to see growth of 5 percent in 2016, much lower than the double-digit growth recorded in previous …

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Digital economy the future for VN development

A digital economy is an inevitable step for development as the traditional economy is being saturated, said Nguyễn Thành Hưng, deputy minister of information and communications at the 2016 Internet Day event in Hà Nội.

The Việt Nam Internet Association yesterday organised the event under the theme "How digital content contributes to an Internet economy?" The wide application of information technology (IT) in all activities of a digital economy would bring high profits, he said. "Many countries have defined the digital economy as a new developmental driving force for their socio-economic growth and development, as well as enhancing the national competitive capacity on a global scale," Hưng said. In recent years, the digital content industry in Việt Nam has seen remarkable development, playing a more important role in the country's IT sector. The revenue of the digital content industry increased from US$480 million to $1.4 billion in the 2008-2014 period with …

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Man set free after wrongful conviction

December 21 – 2016 Bắc Giang People's Procuracy on Tuesday freed Hàn Đức Long, 57, who was earlier sentenced to death for murder and raping children 11 years ago. A lot of the evidence against Long did not have a strong foundation, the People's Procuracy said.

Long has returned to his hometown and reunited with his family in Yên Lý Village, Phúc Sơn Commune, Tân Yên District. Earlier, on May 16, 2005, while returning home from work, Sơn and Liễu, a couple from Phúc Sơn Commune, discovered their five-year-old daughter was missing. Her body was found the next morning in a field with evidence pointing to her being raped. Following four months of investigation, the provincial police could not find a suspect, so they called on residents for assistance.

Ngô Thị Khuyết, Long's neighbour, then informed the police that Long had raped her and her daughter. She claimed Long had also raped Sơn and Liễu's daughter. Long was subsequently sentenced to death.

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Coral transplants in Vietnam’s Phu Quoc

December 21 – 2016 Marine experts have been transplanting corals in swathes of sea surrounding southern Vietnam's Phu Quoc, in an attempt to revitalize the island's coral population. Marine experts have been transplanting corals in swathes of sea surrounding southern Vietnam's Phu Quoc, in an attempt to revitalize the island's coral population.

On a warm December day near Mong Tay (Fingernail) Islet, a few hours by boat away from the port of An Thoi Town in Phu Quoc, a group of marine experts from Phu Quoc's Marine Protected Areas were putting on their diving gear to prepare for their daily visit to their coral garden, which spans 40 square meters of seabed at a depth of seven meters. Their task is to examine whether the corals, planted a few months prior, are adapting well to their new environment, and to replace any individuals that were no longer alive. Branches of healthy corals from natural reefs are cut and replanted in the garden, where they are attached to PVC frames fixed to the seabed. …

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Survival of the unfittest:Vietnam’s disappearing elephants

December 21 – 2016 There are currently fewer than 100 elephants left in the wild and just 80 or so in captivity, mostly used to ferry tourists. Baby elephant Gold has come a long way since he was found trapped in a well in central Vietnam earlier this year.

Today, the one-year-old jumbo, whose tufts of jet black hair sprout in a mohican from his wrinkly head, frolics around a grassy enclosure where conservationists are trying to save his species. Gold and his new playmate Jun, another rescue, are among only a handful of young Asian elephants in Vietnam, where low birth rates have see the population dwindle.

Conservationists are hoping to nurse the pair back to health and set up a full-scale breeding center modeled after successful matchmaking programs in neighboring Thailand and Myanmar. "At the rate they're going now, within a generation or so we'll probably lose the elephants," said Tuan Bendixsen, director of Animals Asia in Vietnam, which helps to care for the elephants. "As the number gets …

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Head Photo by: European Commission DG ECHO

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