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Archive for December 18th, 2008|Daily archive page

Global project helps protect vast swathe of central region’s forest

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Bach Ma National Park has been extended to increase wildlife protection.— VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung

HUE — A highly diverse and ecologically important forest area stretching from Hue to the Laos border has been protected thanks to a 4.5-year project.

The “Green Corridor” project, with funding of US$2.57 million from the World Bank, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Netherlands Development Organisation and the central province of Thua Thien- Hue, involves extensive surveys and afforestation. It also led to the establishment of the Sao La Nature Reserve and the extension of the Bach Ma National Park.

Provincial action

Capacity was built through action plans for biodiv-ersity and preventing forest fires and wildlife trade.

More thanr 70 training courses were held for communities and rangers in areas ranging from law enforcement to nursery gardening techniques, in addition to awareness events in schools across the provinces.

“The project has succeeded in strengthening the management of the forest area,” said Nguyen Ngoc Thien, chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue provincial People’s Committee.

“I’m pleased to see how the project helped upgrade the forests, which play a vital role in protecting upland watersheds, biodiv-ersity, and landscapes,” he added.

The Green Corridor is a wet, low forest of below 700m in altitude, and home to many globally endangered species like the sao la, tiger, golden turtle, Vietnamese francolin, phein-ardia ocellata and white-cheeked black gibbon.

Based upon the achievements of the Green Corridor project, the WWF is already planning two new projects that will enhance the conservation efforts taken in the past few years. —

Singapore tie VN at Suzuki semi-finals

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Tied up: Vietnamese player Nguyen Minh Chau (second left) vies with a Singapore defender during the semi-final’s first leg match yesterday in Ha Noi. The match ended 0-0. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh 

HA NOI — Defending champions Singapore tied host Viet Nam nil-nil in the AFF Suzuki Cup’s semi-final first leg match yesterday at Ha Noi’s My Dinh Stadium.

This gives Singapore a small advantage when they return home to play on their own ground.

It was the third straight draw between the two sides, including two friendly practice matches last month.

With their home advantage, Viet Nam received great encouragement and support from thousands of fans who filled the 50,000-seat stadium – and set out to dominate.

Halfback Le Tan Tai warmed up with a header in the second minute which went over the bar.

Knowing his players were small, Viet Nam’s Portuguese coach Henrique Calisto asked them to use low and short balls, but with high speed to attack Singapore.

His advice nearly led to a score at the 18th minute.

Midfielder Nguyen Vu Phong gave a smart pass to striker Nguyen Viet Thang to the right wing, who then faced Singaporean keeper Lionel Lewis.

Phong, who was a member of the two-time V-League champions Dong Tam Long An, ran close to the goal-mouth before giving a straight shot. Lewis failed to stop it and just looked at the ball as it passed out of his reach. But it was not Thang’s lucky day. The ball hit a goal post.

The miss heightened the push by the hosts, whose captain, Phan Van Tai Em, sprinted from midfield to take part in another attack three minutes later.

Tai Em chose the right place to catch a high ball from a free kick, jumped up to nod but his 10m attempt went wide.

Viet Thang missed his second chance. After a solo performance, Thang freely entered the penalty area and faced Lewis, who had to work very hard but was supported by luck. Thang’s shot missed goal by a hair’s breadth.

In the second half, Singapore stopped playing defensively and moved to the attack. The team, with many members imported from China, England and Nigeria, kept Vietnamese players on the run.

Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic put Alam Shah in the field, who added form and physical strength to the forward line. Shah did not let down his coach, creating disorder among the Vietnamese defenders.

The host could not find a chance to threaten Lewis, but they had to return to the home field to save keeper Hong Son.

At the 73rd, Casmir received a ball after a miss by Nhu Thanh near the box. The Nigerian-born player rapidly ran in to face goalie Son, but fortunately defender Phuoc Tu got home in time to kick it away.

One minute later, Tu scored what appeared to be an own goal trying to save his net. But while Singapore players were celebrating, a referee assistant raised the flag to show that one of them was in offside position.

Avramovic aggressively objected, but could not change the decision.

The last 15 minutes were the hardest for Viet Nam in the tournament. They had to stretch their power to resist Singapore’s assaults, using high balls to hunt for a goal.

The away-ground draw seemed to satisfy Avramovic. He and his team will enjoy home-ground in the return match in Singapore on Sunday. —

Education project targets traffickers

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm

HA NOI — A three-year, US$300,000 education project has begun in northern border provinces to cope with the trafficking of women and girls, HIV/AIDS and sexual violence. Many of the women are sold as prostitutes in China.

The Institute of Repro-ductivity and Family Health has already discussed ways of tackling trafficking and AIDS near the Lang Son and Lao Cai border gateways.

Institute director Nguyen Thi Hoai Duc considers sexual violence against women a key factor in HIV/AIDS spread.

Hot spots

Duc said provinces that attract many tourists or have fast urbanisation are hot spots for sexual trafficking and HIV/AIDS.

She said sex abuse is very common in Lao Cai, where 25 ethnic minorities account for 70 per cent of the population, including about 300,000 females.

She said girls and women are often sold as prostitutes to neighbouring China.

Meanwhile, in Lang Son Province, there is much domestic violence against women, including sex abuse. The number of HIV/AIDS patients is much higher than in Lao Cai.

The two destinations are also transitional places for women from other localities being smuggled through the border into China.

The new project will promote a community-based approach to tackling violence against women and HIV/AIDS.

It also plans to change the behaviour of local authorities, public organisations and the community.

“Firstly, we want to change the sexual behaviour of the men and also teach them about HIV/AIDS prevention,” said institute official Nguyen Hong Hai.

Doan Minh Cuong, a project official, said training courses would be held for owners and workers of karaoke bars, guest houses and hotels. This would include ways to achieve safe sex.

Cuong also said a commune-level intervention team would be set up to handle sexual violence against women. It will include local authorities, police and border guards.

The project will also set up a counselling centre which can test for HIV/AIDS in each province.

The United Nations Development Fund for Women has backed the project, which will be carried out in 32 communes with the biggest problems.

The Viet Nam Women Union and the People Committees of Lao Cai and Lang Son provinces are partners in the project. —


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