The volume of sugar illegally imported into Vietnam from Cambodia and Laos has been increasing, with 757,000 metric tons per year in the 2015-19 period, nearly 2.8 times the quantity in the 2008-14 period, according to a recently released report.
These figures were released at a seminar on the sustainable development of Vietnam’s sugar industry co-organized by the Vietnam Sugar and Sugar Cane Association (VSSA) and U.S.-based Forest Trends, which protects critical ecosystems through creative environmental finance, markets, supply chains, and other incentive mechanisms.
Dr. Nguyen Vinh Quang, who represents Forest Trends, delivered at the workshop a report on supply chains for Vietnam’s sugar industry and issues related to the sector’s sustainable development.
About 273,571 metric tons of sugar was smuggled into Vietnam from Cambodia per year in the 2008-14 period, during which no sugar was illicitly brought into Vietnam from Laos, according to the report.
On any given day, smugglers pile bags of sugar near the banks of the Mekong River in Cambodia.
After piling it into boats, they then ferry the sweetener into Vietnam’s southwestern provinces, awaited by motorbike drivers who evade custom officials to drop off the commodity at storehouses.
In other cases, smuggling outfits mix the illicit sweetener with sugar produced in Vietnam, or change labels to prevent detection of the bootlegged good. Smugglers have also been known to send Vietnamese packaging to Cambodia to disguise sugar before the contraband is taken across the border.
BVR&MT – Trên toàn cầu, các dự án trồng cây đang trở thành xu hướng thịnh hành nhưng nhiều người đang dựa vào thói quen cũ là trồng rừng độc canh và gọi chúng là rừng.
Các chuyên gia cho biết mặc dù các đồn điền độc canh thường khác biệt với mắt chúng ta như một khối nếu chúng ta nhìn thấy chúng từ mặt phẳng nhưng từ quan điểm màu sắc, chúng thường trùng lặp với rừng tự nhiên và do đó làm nhầm lẫn các thuật toán máy tính đang hoạt động với các điểm ảnh mờ. Hình ảnh: Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay
Cứ như thể một người dọn dẹp chuyên nghiệp đã được đưa vào khu rừng nhiệt đới. Tiếng chim hót và tiếng ếch nhái vắng lặng, những mái vòm lộn xộn được dọn sạch bong. Nơi từng là những đám dây leo và cây non hỗn độn nằm chen chúc dưới những dưới tán cây râm mát, giờ được thay thế bằng những cây có cùng chiều cao đứng ngăn nắp và xếp thành từng hàng ngay ngắn dưới cái nắng như thiêu đốt.
Đây là một dự án trồng rừng. Nhưng có điều gì đó rất sai.
Các cơ quan chính phủ Campuchia đã chào mời dự án trồng rừng Prey Lang là dự án lớn đầu tiên trong việc phục hồi tập trung vào khí hậu. Cục Lâm nghiệp Campuchia đã cấp cho nhà thầu Hàn Quốc Think Biotech nhượng quyền trồng 34.000 ha rừng mục đích rõ ràng là trồng cây và giảm nhẹ phát thải khí nhà kính. Nhưng những gì đã xảy ra trên mặt đất trông không giống như một chiến thắng trước biến đổi khí hậu.
Editor’s note: There will be no Daily Brief on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.
Top of the Agenda
Blinken Details U.S. Strategy Toward ChinaU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out (CNN) the Joe Biden administration’s strategy toward China in a speech yesterday (State Dept.), calling Beijing “the most serious long-term threat to the international order.” Blinken said Washington is determined to avoid a conflict or new Cold War with China.
The U.S. approach—called “invest, align, compete”—hinges on efforts to invest in domestic sources of strength, align with allies and partners, and compete with China on issues such as technological innovation. Blinken reiterated that the U.S. strategy toward Taiwan is unchanged, and that Washington seeks to engage and cooperate with China where possible, especially on climate change. Officials said President Biden could hold a phone call (Politico) with Chinese President Xi Jinping within weeks.
This week, policymakers, business executives and other public figures gathered in Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum’s largest meeting took place in person after a two-year hiatus. We sat this one out, but our warning from Davos 2020 on how corruption eats away at democracy still rings true.
In Tokyo on May 23, President Biden announced the formation of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). The framework will bring together the United States and a dozen other Indo-Pacific countries. The agreement will cover both traditional and digital trade standards, decarbonization and infrastructure, supply chain resiliency, taxation, and anti-corruption.
President Joe Biden is keeping Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on a list of foreign terrorist organizations, according to officials. The decision could complicate international efforts to restore a 2015 deal meant to restrict Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Lifting the IRGC’s 2019 terrorist designation (see background) has been a precondition for Iran to return to talks with global leaders, who have been working on reviving the deal for over a year amid rising tensions between Arab nations and Iran-allied groups.
The Charter of the United Nations is the founding document of the United Nations. It was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945.
The United Nations can take action on a wide variety of issues due to its unique international character and the powers vested in its Charter, which is considered an international treaty. As such, the UN Charter is an instrument of international law, and UN Member States are bound by it. The UN Charter codifies the major principles of international relations, from sovereign equality of States to the prohibition of the use of force in international relations.
Since the UN’s founding in 1945, the mission and work of the Organization have been guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter, which has been amended three times in 1963, 1965, and 1973.
A massacre at a Texas primary school has again drawn attention to the powerful gun lobby in the United States, with Democratic officials blaming Republican legislators for remaining beholden to influential pro-gun interests that advocates say have stalled national gun reforms.
President Joe Biden, speaking hours after an 18-year-old gunman stormed the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, fatally shooting 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday, asked: “When, in God’s name, are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?”.
Former President Barack Obama, who was in office when a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, said the US “is paralysed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies”.
By Graeme DobellGraeme Dobell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Journalist Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. He has been reporting on Australian and international politics, foreign affairs and defense, and the Asia-Pacific since 1975.
Australia’s election: Quad continuity and climate alignment, with nuclear disagreements
Sworn-in as Australia’s new prime minister, within hours Anthony Albanese was flying to Japan for the summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (“Quad”).
An accident of timing—the May 24 summit following Australia’s May 21 election—offered the leader of the Australian Labor Party plenty of flying-start symbolism.
On February 11, 2022, the Biden administration released its Indo-Pacific Strategy. The document covers a vast geographic area including many nations and touches on a wide range of issues. What does the new strategy mean for U.S.-Vietnam cooperation?
The strategy names Vietnam as one of the United States’ leading regional partners. Keen observers have anticipated the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership signed in 2013 to be upgraded to a strategic partnership. Although some U.S. and Vietnamese officials have said that the name does not matter, formally upgrading to a strategic partnership with a written joint statement will assure both sides’ commitments.
Vietnam’s digital economy is rapidly expanding. In 2011, only 35 percent of the Vietnamese population used the internet, which doubled to 70 percent by 2020. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report, 71 percent of Vietnamese internet users have made at least one purchase online. The report projected Vietnam’s gross merchandise value (GMV) to reach a total value of $21 billion in 2021, when all sectors, except online travel, experienced double-digit growth. E-commerce is leading the pack, with a 53 percent increase from $8 billion to $13 billion. Vietnam’s GMV is expected to grow from $21 billion in 2021 to $57 billion in 2025.
Council on Foreign Relations: Monitor World Conflicts
The Global Conflict Tracker identifies conflicts around the world, follows their evolution, and assesses their impact on U.S. national security. Our newly redesigned and expertly researched tool from CFR’s Center for Preventive Action includes live data, background information, the latest developments, and critical resources to provide insight on the world’s strife.