Media Highlights

Renowned zoologist Võ Quý dies

Dr Quý’s death is “a big loss for Vi?t Nam’s conservation field, as well as for the national and international researcher community,” said PanNature, an organisation dedicated to protecting and conserving diversity of life and improving human well-being in Vi?t Nam, for which Quý was a advisor and supporter since its establishment.

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Vo Quy, Father of Environmental Conservation in Vietnam, Dies at 87

In the early 1960s, a young ornithologist successfully persuaded Vietnam’s top leaders, including its founding president, Ho Chi Minh, to designate a tract of land near the capital as the country’s first national park.

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Using REDD+ Policy to Facilitate Climate Adaptation at the Local Level: Synergies and Challenges in Vietnam

Attention has recently been paid to how REDD+ mitigation policies are integrated into other sectoral policies, particularly those dealing with climate adaptation at the national level. But there is less understanding of how subnational policy and local projects are able to incorporate attention to adaptation; therefore, we use a case study in Vietnam to discuss how REDD+ projects and policies address both concerns of mitigation and adaptation together at subnational levels. Through stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and household surveys in three provinces of Vietnam with REDD+ activities, our research sought to understand if REDD+ policies and projects on the ground acknowledge that climate change is likely to impact forests and forest users; if this knowledge is built into REDD+ policy and activities; how households in forested areas subject to REDD+ policy are vulnerable to climate change; and how REDD+ activities can help or hinder needed adaptations. Our findings indicate that there continues to be a lack of coordination between mitigation and adaptation policies in Vietnam, particularly with regard to REDD+. Policies for forest-based climate mitigation at the national and subnational level, as well as site-based projects, have paid little attention to the adaptation needs of local communities, many of whom are already suffering from noticeable weather changes in their localities, and there is insufficient discussion of how REDD+ activities could facilitate increased resilience. While there were some implicit and coincidental adaptation benefits of some REDD+ activities, most studied projects and policies did not explicitly target their activities to focus on adaptation or resilience, and in at least one case, negative livelihood impacts that have increased household vulnerability to climate change were documented. Key barriers to integration were identified, such as sectoral specialization; a lack of attention in REDD+ projects to livelihoods; and inadequate support for ecosystem-based adaptation.

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Experts: Law on minerals impractical

In a round-table organised by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs (PCEA) on December 23, Le Ai Thu from the Vietnam Mining Coalition(*) pointed to two particular articles of the law, which he believed to be “very difficult to apply in real life”.

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Environmental Protection by the Numbers: Vietnamese Journalists Learn to Use Data to Tell Stories

The remarkable pace and scale of economic development in Vietnam is increasingly impacting the environment and communities, and a team of Vietnamese journalists is ready to document these changes with data-driven stories.

From 26-28 October 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam, USAID-supported Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) partners PanNature and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network trained Vietnamese journalists and local NGOs on how to better source, analyze and incorporate environmental data to tell compelling stories.

Thirty journalists and representatives of environmental NGOs participated in the “Data for Environmental Journalism – From Vietnam to Mekong Perspective.” The workshop aimed to build journalists’ skills in using data to understand and describe environmental issues – particularly in stories about the costs and benefits of regional development projects such as dams, mines and power plants.

The participants learned to develop data-driven story ideas, visualize data through infographics, and use easy to understand language and comparisons to ensure audiences can relate to the data. They also explored the connection between local Vietnamese environmental concerns and regional development and its impacts.

Data for Environmental Journalism – From Vietnam to Mekong Perspective workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam (Photo: PanNature)

“The issues these journalists are reporting on are very complicated but extremely important,” said Do Hai Linh, who organized the event with PanNature. “To learn how to unpack the data and turn it into something compelling is a necessity for journalists covering environmental issues.”

The participants worked in groups to analyze datasets on development projects and their impacts, such as hydropower and forest data, and created draft data-driven stories, which organizers aim to have published in the coming weeks.

The workshop was also a networking platform for the local journalists and experts from across the region, who came to assist them with the stories, sources and information they need for environmental issues reporting.

The workshop is part of MPE’s Mekong Matters Journalism Network’s efforts to support environmental journalists from across the region in their reporting on development and environmental issues and it follows an MPE Data Journalism and advocacy workshop in Myanmar in June, led by Phandeeyar and Internews.

With support from MPE, PanNature is working on the local Vietnamese site of the OpenDevelopmentMekong family of open data portals bringing together hundreds of datasets related to development and the environment, to be launched in the coming months.

This is an outreach announcement from the USAID–funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment(MPE), a key supporter of The Mekong Eye.

Lead Photo: The participants worked together to create data-driven stories using provided environmental data (Photo: PanNature)

Source: Mekong Eye

Vietnam, the changing climate, and NTFPs

Nguyen Duc To Luu of PanNature Vietnam presented results from the analysis of the cardamom value chain in the districts like Xin Man, where they faced challenges in the unsustainable forest cultivation of resources and the limited access to NTFPs due to existing regulations. The case recognized that key policies surrounding the development and conservation of NTFPs have yet to be strengthened at the national level to establish stronger linkages between stakeholders and some related policies that ensure sustainability in terms of profit and resource management.

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Protect the Mekong together

Whether it is for power generation or irrigation, all upstream developments on the Mekong River put Vi?t Nam at risk as the last downstream country, experts said yesterday. Hence all countries in the Mekong River basin should rethink their approaches and adopt measures to minimise impacts on communities and the ecosystem, said Tr?nh Lê Nguyên, director of People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature), a Vietnamese non-governmental organisation.

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A Waterfight Like No Other May Be Brewing Over Asia’s Rivers

Under President Xi Jinping, China has been aggressively asserting claims to most of the South China Sea, angering neighbors by turning specks of rock into artificial islands. Another water fight could be just as explosive: this one involving fresh water.

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Ministry aiming to restore forests

Speaking at a conference on forest management held on Tuesday in Gia Lai Province, Nguy?n Vi?t D?ng, deputy director of the nonprofit PanNature, said the restoration of forests was feasible if it brought economic benefits such as profits from cassava and coffee cultivation.

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Viet Nam should adopt EITI for resource management

Implementing the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) will help Vi?t Nam fight corruption in the resources extraction sector, participants were told at a workshop held yesterday in Hà N?i. EITI is a global standard for governance when it comes to a country’s oil, gas and mineral resources, and is implemented by governments in collaboration with companies and civil society. Countries implementing EITI disclose information on tax payments, licenses, contracts, production and other key elements around resource extraction.

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