About Đào Thu Hằng

I am from Hanoi, Viet Nam. I hold a PhD on Sustainable Energy Systems from University of Lisbon and Aalto University. I graduated from Hanoi University of Technology on Environmental Science & Engineering. I obtained a Master degree on Environmental Science & Engineering from Stanford University, USA and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. I am an author of Dot Chuoi Non (dotchuoinon.com/author/hangbelu/), a blog on Positive thinking, founded by Dr. Tran Dinh Hoanh, an attorney in Washington DC. I am a co-founder of CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development - cvdvn.net, a virtual think tank. My English blog: hangbelu.wordpress.com. I am a co-founder of POTATO - potato.edu.vn, provide outdoor education programs for kids in Vietnam. I am studying the Buddha's teaching and the teaching of Jesus Christ. I practice mindful living including meditation. I play table tennis as a hobby.

Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

Vox_Since 2014, China has been building islands in the middle of the South China Sea. What were once underwater reefs are now sandy islands complete with airfields, roads, buildings, and missile systems. In less than two years, China has turned seven reefs into seven military bases in the South China Sea, one of the most contentious bodies of water in the world.

The sea is one of the most important areas of ocean in the world. It’s estimated to hold 11 billion barrels of oil, 109 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 10 percent of the world’s fisheries. Most importantly, 30 percent of the world’s shipping trade flows through the South China Sea to the busy ports of Southeast Asia. It’s an incredibly important strategic area, and five countries currently claim some part of it.

Most countries base their claims off the

href=””>United Nations Law of the Seas, which says a country’s territory extends 200 miles off its shores, an area called the exclusive economic zone, or EEZ. Any trade or resources that fall in a country’s EEZ belong to that country; they’re its sovereign territory. Any area that is not in an EEZ is considered international waters and subject to UN maritime law, meaning it’s shared by everyone. Every country in the region, which includes Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Vietnam, bases its claim to the South China Sea on the UN’s EEZ laws — except China.

China argues it has a historical claim to the South China Sea, dating back to naval expeditions in the 15th century. After World War II, the Japanese Empire lost control of the South China Sea, and China took advantage of the moment to reclaim it. On maps, it started drawing a dashed line that encompassed most of the South China Sea. This line became its official claim and is known today as the Nine-Dash Line, because it always has nine dashes. In 1973, when the UN law established EEZs, China reaffirmed its Nine-Dash Line, refusing to clarify the line’s boundaries and rejecting other countries’ claims.

Since then, tensions have built around who rightfully owns the South China Sea. The dispute has centered on the Spratly Islands, an archipelago at the heart of the South China Sea. Currently, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam claim some part of the Spratly Island chain. They’ve asserted their claims by putting small buildings, ports, and even some people on what are essentially rocks in the middle of the ocean.

But the Spratlys are very important, because whichever country can successfully claim them can extend its EEZ to include them, thus gaining miles of precious sovereign territory. This is why China began building up islands in 2014. By turning these rocks into military bases, the Chinese are now able to support hundreds of ships, bolstering their presence in the region. They are using fishing boats, surveillance ships, and navy destroyers to set up blockades around other countries’ islands and defend their own. This is all done very cautiously and in small steps in order to avoid sparking a wider conflict.

Since China began building islands, the disputes have not become violent. But tensions are building in the region. As China deploys more of its military to the Spratlys, other countries are getting nervous and building up their own islands. It’s a complex situation that will continue to gain international attention, for better or for worse.

6 killed by suspected wartime bomb explosion in central Vietnam

By Xuan Ngoc   August 18, 2017 | 02:53 pm GMT+7

6 killed by suspected wartime bomb explosion in central Vietnam

e.vnexpress.net_Police and curious people stand outside a house where an explosion killed six people in Khanh Hoa Province on Friday. Photo courtesy of Vietnam’s government news portal

Neighbors said the family had been trying to dismantle a bomb to sell as scrap metal.

Six members of a single family were killed in an explosion in the central province of Khanh Hoa on Friday morning.

Among the victims were three children. Another child was seriously injured and is receiving treatment.

Local witnesses said they rushed to the house after hearing the blast to find the roof had been blown off and the smell of explosives hanging in the air.

An official said the explosion might have been caused by ordnance left over from the war.

Local media reports cited the victims’ neighbors as saying that one member of the family had brought home a bomb that morning and they were cutting it open when it exploded.

Tiếp tục đọc

Bản đồ hoá hiện trạng nước mặt toàn cầu: Mapping long-term global surface water occurrence

ec.europa.eu_In an article published in Nature on 7 December 2016, JRC scientists describe how, in collaboration with Google, they have quantified changes in global surface waters and created interactive maps which highlight the changes in the Earth’s surface water over the past 32 years.

The data show that the impacts of climate on where and when surface water occurs can be measured, and that the presence of surface water can be substantially altered by human activities.The data show that the impacts of climate on where and when surface water occurs can be measured, and that the presence of surface water can be substantially altered by human activities.
©EU/Google 2016

Based on over three million satellite scenes (1 823 Terabytes of data) collected between 1984 and 2015, the Global Surface Water Explorer was produced using 10 000 computers running in parallel. The individual images were transformed into a set of global maps with a 30-metre resolution, which enable users to scroll back in time to measure the changes in the location and persistence of surface water globally, by region, or for a specific area. The maps are available for all users, free of charge. Tiếp tục đọc

Exploring Interdependencies in Global Resource Trade

resourcetrade.earth features powerful interactive visualisations that provide easy access to an extensive and authoritative database of international trade in natural resources, developed from United Nations data. The Chatham House Resource Trade database reorganizes UN Comtrade data into a natural resource hierarchy, covering trade in over 1,350 different types of natural resources and resource products, including agricultural, fishery and forestry products, fossil fuels, metals and other minerals, and pearls and gemstones. The site allows users to easily interrogate resource trade flows between more than 200 countries and territories since the year 2000, by monetary value and by weight, at varying degrees of granularity and aggregation.The political economy of natural resources is increasingly shaped by large, structural shifts in the changing natural environment, in the deepening interrelationship between resource systems and actors, and in the rebalancing of global income and power. We consider these dynamics in the stories section of the site, which provides detailed explorations of different facets of resource trade and the economic, political, and environmental implications of resource interdependencies. Featuring expert analysis and insights from Chatham House and others, this section will continue to expand with new content over time. We launch with an overarching look at the scale and significance of resource trade, and Professor Tim Benton considers the state of agricultural trade, food security, and the potential impacts of an outbreak of protectionism affecting the key food commodities.


For the first time, resourcetrade.earth opens up complex patterns of resource trade for examination by non-experts as well as policy-makers, civil society groups, business analysts, and everyone with an interest in resource trade dynamics and their environmental impacts.

The smartphone is eventually going to die, and Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are racing to kill it

Bản đồ “nỗi khiếp sợ và điên cuồng của vũ khí hạt nhân” – 2053 vụ nổ bom nguyên tử trong lịch sử từ năm 1945 – 1998

Nghệ sĩ người Nhật Isao Hashimoto đã làm nên một bản đồ thời gian thật đẹp, một sự thật đáng sợ không thể phủ nhận của 2053 vụ nổ hạt nhân năm xảy ra từ năm 1945 và đến 1998, bắt đầu với thử nghiệm “Trinity” của dự án Manhattan gần Los Alamos và kết thúc với thử nghiệmhạt nhân của Pakistan vào tháng 5 năm 1998. Bản đồ này thiếy 2 vụ thử nghiệm hạt nhân của Bắc Triều Tiên trong thập niên vừa qua (do tính hợp pháp của hai vụ này chưa rõ ràng 100%).

Trong bản đồ, mỗi quốc gia đều có một đốm sáng và một chấm nhấp nháy trên bản đồ bất cứ khi nào có một vụ nổ vũ khí hạt nhân, với một thanh chạy trên cùng và dưới cùng của màn hình. Hashimoto, bắt đầu dự án vào năm 2003, nói rằng ông đã tạo ra nó với mục tiêu cho thấy “nỗi khiếp sợ và điên cuồng của vũ khí hạt nhân”. Bản đồ bắt đầu rất chậm – nếu bạn muốn xem hành động thực sự, hãy bỏ qua trước năm 1962 hoặc lâu hơn nữa – nhưng sự tích lũy trở nên quá tải.

A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 – by Isao Hashimoto

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing”the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.” It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.


10 things to know about the global labour force

Briefing papers

April 2017

ODI_Creating more and better jobs is frequently identified as a top priority in global development, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are no exception.

Nearly six million participants of the MY World Survey, a UN survey which influenced and informed the SDGs, identified ‘better job opportunities’ as key for their and their families’ futures. As a result, jobs have found their space in SDG8: ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’, and are referenced in several other goals.

10 things to know about the global labour force examines the number of people inside and outside the global labour force, illustrating who they are, where they are and the scale of the global jobs challenge, drawing attention to the 2 billion people of working age classified as outside the labour force, many of whom want to work. Surprisingly, there has been little focus on this group. Less surprisingly, about two-thirds are women, and a very high share of them are in the Asia-Pacific region. Their need for jobs will add significantly to the challenges of job creation and of meeting the SDGs.

Tiếp tục đọc

Climate change is disrupting the birds and the bees

BBC_Our changing climate seems set to disrupt just about everything. From rising sea levels to ocean acidification, the list of negative consequences from climate change is endless. But one area that often goes unmentioned in the climate change discussion is sex.

Over the last two decades, scientists have found that warmer temperatures are quietly spoiling the mood, making it harder for plants and animals to reproduce.

Here are five ways that climate change is ruining sex lives.

It’s a numbers game

While humans and many other animals determine sex genetically, many reptiles and some fish use the incubation temperature of the eggs to set the gender of their offspring. This means that changing global temperatures could alter the ratio of sexes produced, making it harder for these animals to find mates. Tiếp tục đọc

Mongolia and China envision giant power grids to light up Asia

Mongolia and China envision giant power grids to light up AsiaBuildings and streets are illuminated in the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. The lights of the district’s high-end boutiques and bars may someday be powered by coal burned more than 2,700 km away in Mongolia. | BLOOMBERG




Japantimes_The lights of the high-end boutiques and bars of Tokyo’s Ginza district may someday be powered by coal burned more than 1,700 miles away (2,700 km) in Mongolia, electricity zipping over ultra-high voltage lines across deserts and under seas. Tiếp tục đọc

Vietnamese Art Has Never Been More Popular. But the Market Is Full of Fakes.


Experts in 2016 examining a painting at the Fine Arts Museum in Ho Chi Minh City said to be “Banana Garden” by Nguyen Sang. It was among 17 works the museum ultimately declared to be fraudulent.CreditQuinn Ryan Mattingly for The New York Times

nytimes_HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — The exhibition at the Fine Arts Museum in Ho Chi Minh City was billed as a triumphant homecoming for works by some of Vietnam’s most influential artists.

But Nguyen Thanh Chuong, a prominent artist himself, was stunned by what he saw.

Hanging on the wall was a painting he recognized as his own, a Cubist-inspired portrait he did in the early 1970s.

But instead of his name, the canvas bore the signature of one of Vietnam’s best-known artists, Ta Ty, and the date 1952. “I could not believe my eyes,” he said. “It made my hair stand on end.”

Mr. Chuong’s discovery set off a scandal that has rocked the Vietnam art world and highlighted an embarrassing truth: The Vietnamese art market, where prices of prewar paintings have recently broken the million-dollar mark, is rife with fraud.

Tiếp tục đọc

Asian consumer firms need to buck up on sustainability: New report

eco-business_A new report by WWF has found that most major Asian consumer goods firms are lagging behind their western counterparts on making their operations and supply chains more sustainable, and their investors are also not paying enough attention to environmental risks.

Non-profit group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has published a report shining an uncomfortable spotlight on Asian consumer firms, which finds them severely lagging behind international standards on sustainability.The international group said the lack of sustainability among Asian manufacturers of food, household, and personal care products is in part due to a lack of scrutiny from financiers. Tiếp tục đọc

DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH: 2016 saw a record 200 killings of people defending their land, forests and rivers against destructive industries

globalwitness_It has never been deadlier to take a stand against companies that steal land and destroy the environment. Our new report Defenders of the Earth found that nearly four people were murdered every week in 2016 protecting their land and the natural world from industries like mining, logging and agribusiness.

Download the full report: Defenders of the Earth (PDF, 4.67 MB)

Murder is just one of a range of tactics used to silence land and environmental defenders, including death threats, arrests, sexual assault and aggressive legal attacks.

Jakeline Romero from Colombia (above, right) has faced years of threats and intimidation for speaking out against the devastating impacts of El Cerrejón, Latin America’s largest open-pit mine. Owned by London-listed companies Glencore, BHP Billiton and Anglo-American and run by a domestic operator, the project has been blamed for water shortages and mass displacement. (1) 
Tiếp tục đọc

Climate warming linked to India’s ‘suicide epidemic’

Climate warming linked to India’s ‘suicide epidemic’

  • Climate warming linked to India’s ‘suicide epidemic’

Copyright: Panos

Speed read

  • Study shows link of high temperature and suicide rate increase in growing season
  • Crop losses appear to be the reason as it cause distress and poverty
  • Policies such as providing crop insurance may cut suicide rates among farmers

scidev.net_[NEW DELHI] Warming due to climate change may have caused some 59,000 suicides over the last three decades in India, says a new study which statistically links temperature spikes to crop failures and farmer distress and suicides. Tiếp tục đọc