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Posts Tagged ‘effort’

Greater effort urged to protect biodiversity

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Beach conservation effort succeeds

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Beach conservation effort succeeds

QĐND – Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 21:30 (GMT+7)

Co Chien Islet’s Ngang Beach in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Province of Tra Vinh has been recognised for its successes in restoring local biodiversity and ecosystems.

A recent report in Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper highlighted the success of afforestation work and other projects to ensure Co Chien adapts to climate change.

Experts from the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) working on the group’s Greater Mekong Programme said about 36 kinds of aquatic species have been restored at Ngang Beach, situated in Hai Thu Hamlet, Long Hoa Commune, Chau Thanh District, Tra Vinh Province.

Ngang Beach is located at the mouth of the Co Chien River, a branch of the Mekong, which empties into the southern East Sea.

Do Minh Tien, Party committee secretary of Long Hoa Commune, said local residents have benefited from the introduction of more sustainable ways to earn a living.

“Living standards of people at Ngang Beach have improved thanks to efforts to preserve local forests,” said Tien.

The ecosystem has also benefited.

“Aquatic species such as vop (a kind of clam), thoi loi fish, ca ngat (gray eel catfish) and bong sao fish (boleophthalmus boddarti) were almost driven to extinction during the past ten years, but recently their numbers have recovered strongly,” Tien said.

Hectares of forests were planted on Ngang Beach this year, part of efforts to help mitigate the impact of climate change.

“10ha of the total 170ha plantation were zoned as a bio-diversity reserve,” Tien said.

Huynh Quoc Vu, head of management board of Tien Thanh Co-operative, said local people have been taught more sustainable farming methods.

“Locals realised the importance of the forests to their lives, so they no longer over-exploit the natural resources here,” said Vu.

Tien Thanh Co-operative was established in 2004 and now has 400 members.

Since its establishment, the co-operative has made a profit each year. Profits are shared among members based on their holdings.

“In 2009, the co-operative gained VND8 billion (US$404,000) from clam farming. After deducting expenses, the dividend was VND650,000 ($33) each,” Vu said.

Buffer zone

The co-operative has expanded the area of clam cultivation to 150ha for this crop, aiming for a dividend of VND700,000 ($35.5) for each clam farmer, said Vu.

Tran Van Quy, who was one of the first farmers in the area to take part in afforestation projects, says the work has helped mitigate the impacts of storms and other extreme weather.

“Ten years ago, landslides were a terrible risk here, especially during the monsoon,” said Quy.

“But thanks to the support of the Government, there is now a buffer zone of forest running along coastal land.”

His family has planted and protected 20ha of cypress forest.

“We have the right to exploit this natural resource. However, we have to obey certain rules to preserve the ecosystem, so we are not allowed to use electric traps to catch fish and we avoid catching young or baby fish.”

Quy said crabs have become particularly abundant in the area.

Fifty-year-old farmer Nguyen Huu Chi, who manages 5ha of newly planted forest, said planting trees has lured back a wide range of wildlife.

“This includes rising numbers of crab, catfish, shrimp, tra fish and goby fish,” he said.

“I will plant an additional 3.3ha of trees this year where I can breed goby fish. I earned VND30 million ($1,500) in the last harvest while the expenditure was less than VND10 million ($500).”

Source: VNS/VietnamNet


Source: QDND

ADB urges multi-national effort against “Dollarisation”

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

ADB urges multi-national effort against “Dollarisation”

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pointed out a need for regional cooperation in monetary and financial issues, particularly to deal with the issues of multiple currencies within domestic economies.

The region’s biggest development bank made the statement in the latest study, which was published on October 15. 

The study, Dealing with Multiple Currencies in Transitional Economies: the Scope for Cooperation in Cambodia , Laos , and Vietnam , is a pioneering work on the multiple-currency phenomenon with important recommendations for promoting regional monetary and financial cooperation. 

In the three target countries, other countries’ currencies, particulary the US dollar, are found in broad use. The share of foreign currencies ranges from around 20 percent of all currency in circulation in Vietnam , about 50 percent in Laos , and more than 90 percent in Cambodia . 

In this regard, the ADB Country Director for Vietnam , Ayumi Konishi, recognised progress made by the country in de-dollarisation. 

“Yet, authorities, especially the State Bank of Vietnam , are fully aware that administrative measures alone cannot be effective”, said the ADB residential chief. 

He explained that in order to de-dollarise the Vietnamese economy, it is essential to enhance people’s confidence in Vietnamese dong through sustainable and high economic growth, stabilisation of the foreign exchange rate, reforms in monetary policies, and strengthening of the capacity of financial institutions. 

Jayant Menon, Principal Economist in ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, a co-editor of the study, remarked “Dollarisation blunts the tools for macroeconomic stabilisation, especially monetary and exchange rate policy, that a country like Vietnam needs in order to tackle a variety of economic and developmental challenges, such as rising inflation”. 

He warned Vietnam , where the US dollar makes up 20 percent of the total money circulation, for its partial dollarisation which may lead to some limitations especially in deploying policies for macroeconomic stabilisation. 

Solutions such as official dollarisation, compulsory de-dollarisation and mono currency are all infeasible, said the ADB expert. 

Experts recommended three solutions, including the short-term solution which highlights strengthening the momentum for depositing savings in the Vietnamese dong instead of the US dollar or gold. They also urged banks to encourage long-term saving deposits in the Vietnamese dong and reduce sudden changes or any instability in the short-term saving deposit interest rates.

Their recommendations for a medium-term solution included a currency-bound mechanism and reserving the right to mould or print currency. 

For a long-term solution, experts recommended the economy be prepared for the de-dollarisation process, building financial institutions and speeding up reforms in the State-owned enterprise sector for sustainable development. 

The other co-editor of the study, Giovanni Capannelli, Principal Economist in the ADB Institute, urged monetary authorities of Cambodia , Laos and Vietnam to share information and experiences in order to find a solution to the dollarisation issue. 

“The three countries have a lot to gain from closer cooperation, both among themselves and with the rest of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations”, said the ADB expert. 

ADB, based in Manila , is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. 

In 2009, it approved a total of US$16.1 billion in financing operations through loans, grants, guarantees, a trade finance facilitation programme, equity investments, and technical assistance projects. 

Vietnam will host ADB’s 44th annual meeting in Hanoi in May 2011.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

BP chief yacht outing draws fire as oil effort slogs on

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Allied leader says Afghan war effort now on track

In Uncategorized on April 23, 2010 at 8:40 am

 NATO‘s top official said Friday the 28-nation alliance is on track with its new strategy for winding down the war in Afghanistan next year, despite security setbacks and a continuing shortage of foreign trainers for the fledgling Afghan police and army.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen offered a mostly upbeat assessment to a gathering of allied foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who are assessing what will be required to meet the goal — first laid out by President Barack Obama last December — of transitioning to Afghan control next summer.

“Increasingly this year the momentum will be ours,” he said.

Fogh Rasmussen asserted that the Afghan government, which has been hampered by a Taliban insurgency, political corruption, a dysfunctional economy and a dependence on foreign assistance, is starting to take more responsibility for running the country’s affairs.

“We are preparing to begin the process of handing over leadership, where conditions allow, back to the Afghan people,” he said. “The future of this mission is clear and visible: more Afghan capability and more Afghan leadership.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, center, gestures during a group photo at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn, Estonia, Thursday, April 22, 2010.

During Friday’s meeting, which was closed to the press after Fogh Rasmussen made brief introductory remarks, Clinton was expected to press other NATO nations to provide more trainers for Afghanistan’s police and military forces as part of preparations to withdraw Western troops from there by summer 2011.

Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that an additional 450 trainers are needed for Afghanistan’s security forces. Insufficient numbers of foreign trainers has plagued the U.S.-led war effort for years, although the shortfall has narrowed in recent months.

NATO’s assessment of its exit strategy comes just five months after Obama sharply escalated troop strength in the rugged mountain nation to challenge a resurgent Taliban movement.

NATO has struggled, in some cases, to coordinate military operations with Afghan civilian authorities and agencies.

In a speech Thursday before the two-day NATO meeting began, Fogh Rasmussen called Afghanistan the most challenging military operation undertaken by NATO in its history.

NATO was founded 61 years ago this month with the signing of a treaty of collective defense against a feared land invasion by the Soviet Union.

Today, Fogh Rasmussen said, instability in places far from Europe can threaten NATO member states.

“We all want to see a stable and secure Afghanistan — an Afghanistan that is no longer a threat to its region and to the rest of the world,” he said in his speech Thursday. “We will stay in Afghanistan as long as it takes to achieve that goal. We want to continue to empower the Afghans. And gradually hand over to them greater responsibility for the security of their own country when conditions permit.”

During Thursday’s talks, Clinton ruled out an early withdrawal of about 200 short-range U.S. nuclear weapons from bases in five European countries.

She said any reductions should be tied to a negotiated nuclear pullback by Russia, which has far more of the weapons in range of European targets.

No such talks are in the offing, and Moscow has shown little interest thus far in bargaining away its tactical nuclear arms.

Clinton also said the Obama administration wants NATO to accept missile defense as a core mission of the alliance.

The U.S. sees anti-missile systems as part of a broader effort to combat the dangers posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and the rockets that can deliver them.

Some European members of NATO, including Germany, have said it’s time for the U.S. to withdraw its remaining Cold War-era nuclear weapons from Europe and cite Obama’s pledge in Prague last year to seek a nuclear-free world.

Late last year, Germany was joined by NATO members Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Luxembourg in requesting that the nuclear issue be put on the agenda of the Tallinn meeting.

But some newer NATO members in central and eastern Europe, which lay within Moscow’s orbit during the Cold War, oppose a U.S. nuclear withdrawal. They argue that the presence of the weapons is the surest guarantee of their territorial integrity.

Fogh Rasmussen told reporters here that U.S. nuclear weapons play a vital defensive role in Europe and should not be removed as long as other countries possess them.

“I do believe that the presence of the American nuclear weapons in Europe is an essential part of a credible deterrent,” Fogh Rasmussen said.

Source: SGGP

WB oks $500M to support VN stimulus effort, investment reform

In Vietnam Society on December 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Vietnam moved a step closer to its goal of reaching middle-income status by 2010, with approval by the World Bank (WB) of the first loan to Vietnam from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on December 21. 

The newly approved loan is a US$ 500 million development policy loan that supports a program of public investment reforms in Vietnam.

“World Bank support Vietnam to build on the Government’s determination to strengthen its public investment processes,” said WB Country Director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa

The loan, the largest ever made by the WB to Vietnam, is the first of two single-tranche operations that will support the country’s stimulus program in response to the economic crisis.  And by supporting a series of public investment reforms to improve the quality of public investment, the loan should enhance the impact of Vietnam’s stimulus package as well as its subsequent public investments that are important to sustaining Vietnam’s high economic growth.

Over the last two years, Vietnam has experienced a succession of shocks – starting with massive capital inflows in 2007, a surge in commodity prices in 2008, and export declines as a result of the global economic crisis. Stimulus measures adopted in late 2008 and supplemented in early 2009 contributed to strong growth, now projected to be 5.2 percent for 2009.

IBRD is the low-interest lending arm of the WB aimed at reducing poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries.  Until now, WB support to Vietnam has come from the International Development Association (IDA), which provides credit and grants to the world’s poorest countries.

“The loan is supported by a strong World Bank program that builds on the Government’s determination to strengthen its public investment processes,” said WB Country Director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa.

The areas strengthened under the reform program include environmental screening of publicly funded infrastructure projects, environmental management, project preparation and appraisal, procurement, public financial management, the regulatory framework for private participation in infrastructure and monitoring, and evaluation.

The loan approval builds on the recent Country Partnership Strategy Progress Report, which takes stock of progress made in implementing the five-year Country Partnership Strategy that will conclude in June 2011 and introduces some adjustments for the remainder of the period. 

These adjustments include the introduction of IBRD borrowing, at an indicative level up to $1.7 billion during the next year and a half; and support for further strengthening natural disaster response, climate change adaptation and mitigation, a framework for public-private partnerships for infrastructure, higher education reform, and facilitation of technology innovation.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share