What The Papers Say Dec 2014

(No.11, Vol.4,Dec 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Protecting wild elephants
in Dong Nai

Viet Nam Net English, 3 December
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has approved a VND74 billion ($3.44 million) budget for a project on urgent protection of wild elephants in the southern province of Dong Nai, according to the provincial Forest Protection Department.
The project, expected to kick off in December this year, will be implemented in the natural forests of Vinh Cuu, Tan Phu and Dinh Quan districts.
The project will focus on assessing the elephant population, distribution and movements, while planning the expansion of their habitat to provide sustainable natural living conditions.
It will also seek ways to avoid conflict between people and elephants and increase communication efforts to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of protecting wild elephants.

Central Danang City named world’s top rising destination
Thanh Nien News, 4 December
The central city of Danang took the top spot on TripAdvisor's ‘Destinations on the Rise’ awards this year.
TripAdvisor recommends tourists ‘taste [their] way through the streets on a walking or biking culinary tour’ and ‘work off those bowls of spicy noodle soup with an exploration of the caves and grottos of the Marble Mountains.’
The site also recommends passing by the Dragon Bridge when it breathes fire over the Han River.

Oc Eo antiques recognized as national heritage
Viet Nam News, 26 November
The Vietnam Book of Records has recognised a collection of gold objects belonging to the Oc Eo – Go Thap culture as the largest of its kind in the country.
The collection comprises 49 gold objects discovered during excavations in the 1984-2013 period at the Go Thap archaeological site, Thap Muoi District, in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Dong Thap.
The antique objects date between the third century and the seventh century. Many of them represent the Hindu God Vishnu and flowers such as the lotus and water lily, as well as sacred animals such as the Nandin cow, Vahara pig, the Shesha snake, the Kurma tortoise and the Sankha snail.
The objects are believed to have been offerings made to heavenly beings in return for their support. The antiques are being preserved at the Dong Thap Museum.

Nation on high alert for avian
influenza A/H5N8
Viet Nam News, 28 November
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have called for close supervision to detect cases of avian influenza in humans and poultry throughout the country.
The warning has been made following recent outbreaks of A/H5N8 in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
People have also been warned not to slaughter or eat sick poultry, and report such cases to local authorities.
The Animal Health Department also warned there was a high risk of A/H5N8 entering the country.
The Health Ministry has also called for stronger community awareness on the prevention of seasonal diseases during the winter and spring. People should keep warm when the weather turns cold and minimise contact with others suffering from the flu, respiratory diseases, measles, rubella and diarrhoea.

Delta faces
water shortage
Viet Nam News, 1 December
The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta faces a possible shortage of fresh water for next year's rice crops due to drought and a worsening of saltwater intrusion in the coming dry season, according to the Southern Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Its prediction is based on higher temperatures this year accompanied by below-average rainfall and declining water levels in major rivers.
The rainfall between December and April 2015 would be much below average while the temperature would be 0.5-1 degree Celsius higher than normal, the centre also forecast.

Bai choi gains
national heritage
Viet Nam News, 1 December
Bai choi, a traditional game combining folklore singing and lottery picks, recently gained national cultural heritage status, and experts believe it will achieve world heritage status in the near future.
The game was honoured in a ceremony held in central Phu Yen Province, one of the localities that own bai choi. The game is popular in the central stretch of Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Binh Dinh, as well as Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa.
The game was invented nearly 400 years ago and serves as a community game for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday in the central region. The game often takes place on a wide yard in front of communal houses and gathers the entire community together.
According to experts, the game combines beauties from rural work, folklore singing and the Tet customs of rice farmers.

Co Loa offers glimpse into past
Viet Nam News, 5 December
Co Loa Citadel, 20km north of Hanoi, appears to be the oldest spiral-shaped structure in Southeast Asia.
The finding comes after seven years of archaeological excavations by researchers from the Vietnam Archaeology Institute, Thang Long Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre and University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.
The citadel was built under the reign of King An Duong Vuong (around the 2nd century BC). Its name ‘Co Loa’ is derived from the Sino-Vietnamese for ‘old spiral’ as the structure is built in a spiral shape. Various relics of the Bronze Age Dong Son culture can be found at the site, which was recognised as a special national relic site in 2012 by the Prime Minister.

Ancient citadel gets renovation
Viet Nam News, 5 December
Renovation on Bien Hoa Ancient Citadel in Quang Vinh Ward, Bien Hoa City in the southern province of Dong Nai began on 3 December.
The VND14 billion ($650,000) project, implemented by Central Fine Arts Company over 36 months, aims to give the citadel a comprehensive upgrade.
The citadel is historically significant for its role in the early southward thrust by the central-based Nguyen Dynasty 300 years ago and the French and American wars in the 20th century.
Originally built of earth in the 14-15th century, it was rebuilt with bricks in 1837. The 10,816 m² citadel has two large buildings and two blockhouses left inside its outer walls.

Nghe An sends rare tigers to Hanoi
Viet Nam News, 8 December
The Wild Animal Rescue Centre of Pu Mat National Park in the central province of Nghe An on 7 November handed over two Indochinese tigers to the Hanoi Centre for Wild Animal Rescue and Forest Protection.
The rescue centre in Pu Mat had cared for the cats since they were seized in an animal trafficking bust on 13 June.
The tigers are in a good condition now, and are being trained for reintroduction to the wild, according to the park’s director.

Coastal erosion eats Hoi An’s beach
Tuoi Tre News, 7 November
Stunning Cua Dai beach along the coastline of UNESCO-recognized Hoi An old town in central Vietnam is being eroded by sea water at an alarming rate and could disappear altogether.
The beach is being wiped out by sea waves. A local said over 30m of land has been swallowed in the past two months while three rows of coconut trees were blown away, which has seriously deformed the beach.
The entire area has been blockaded, with signs erected to warn tourists not to swim.
The alarming coastal erosion has dealt a devastating blow to the owners of the luxury resorts along the coast and adversely impacted their business.

Southern province to restore
wetland reserve
Tuoi Tre News, 19 November
Long An Province has spent $500,000 to restore the Lang Sen Wetland Reserve in southern Vietnam’s Long An Province, the reserve management announced on 18 November.
The project was launched by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Germany.
According to the WWF in Vietnam, Lang Sen Wetland Reserve, whose name literally means ‘the wetland with many lotus flowers’ includes 50 hectares of lotus plants as well as 40 hectares of wild rice.

Vietnam loses $316 mn to corruption
Tuoi Tre News, 27 November
About VND6.74 trillion ($316.45 million) was lost through corruption in Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, but only 22.3 percent of the this amount was recovered, the Ministry of Justice has said.
The ministry released the striking figures at the 13th dialogue on anti-corruption held in Hanoi on 26 November.
In many cases, the money or assets appropriated by corrupt officials could not be recovered as they had been transformed in various ways, including making ownership transfers, purchasing various assets with appropriated money, money laundering and transferring “black money” abroad.
In the first nine months of 2014, investigative agencies nationwide handled 415 corruption cases that caused total losses of over VND6,740 billion ($315.25 million), of which only over VND1,500 billion, or 22.3 percent, was recovered, the ministry reported.

Red-tailed vipers bite many
Tuoi Tre News, 28 November
Red-tailed vipers have appeared in large quantities and bitten over 1,000 people in various localities in Vietnam so far this year, local authorities reported.
There are no immediate reports of mortality by far, as all the victims received treatment in time.
These venomous snakes, with scientific name Trimeresurus albolabris, have attacked people in many central provinces, including Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai, and a number of provinces in the south, including Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Can Tho and Hau Giang.
This year is a leap one, with a long hot season, so the breeding season of this type of viper is prolonged, may be the reason for the mass quantity of the vipers, experts said.

40,000 die of smoking-caused

Tuoi Tre News, 1 December
Vietnam is one of 15 countries with the highest numbers of smokers in the world, and around 40,000 Vietnamese people die of smoking-caused diseases every year – or more than 100 people per day, the health ministry has warned.
Cigarette purchases also add VND22 trillion ($1.03 billion) to the economy every year, according to the ministry.
The Office of the Program for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms, under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health recently released the figures and emphasized that the death toll from smoking-related diseases in Vietnam many increase to 70,000 per year in 2030.


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