The Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP), jointly launched by the Taiwan EPA and the US EPA, held the 2022 Global Environmental Education Partnership Meeting in Tucson, Arizona, USA on 10 October. Thirty-four government officials, environmental education experts and scholars of non-government organizations from eleven countries gathered to exchange ideas and share their valuable wisdom, toward strengthening environmental education cooperation networks.
Jointly organized by the Taiwan and US EPAs and the North American Association for Environmental Education, the gathering was the first physical GEEP meeting held since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out three years ago. Besides those from Taiwan, participants included government representatives, experts and scholars from American Samoa, Australia, Botswana, Cameroon, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Palau, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. During the meeting, experts and consultants examined and discussed the future strategies, goals and implementation methods of the GEEP, and participants shared their experiences in developing and running regional environmental education centers.
In addition to promoting global environmental education and establishing global partnerships, the GEEP also attaches great importance to improving the abilities of regions to respond to environmental changes and to strengthening of cooperation networks. Thus, in 2019 Taiwan established the Asia-Pacific Regional Center (APRC) under the GEEP structure. The APRC is in charge of promoting environmental education and establishing exchange networks in the Asia-Pacific region so that partners can learn and share with each other, and work towards a sustainable future. The Taiwanese delegation to the meeting was led by Hsuan-wu Chang, Director of the Department of Comprehensive Planning of the Taiwan EPA, accompanied by APRC representatives Professor Tzu-chau Chang and Professor Hurng-Jyuhn Wang, along with four young environmental leaders from Taiwan.
In the meeting, Director Hsuan-wu Chang said that Taiwan is in line with the world and plays a unique role in issues such as trade, health care and the environment. As to the issue of global climate change, Taiwan is also advancing with the world toward net zero emissions, and places emphasis at the same time on the power of cooperation and the importance of enhancing environmental education. Thus it is important for countries, while playing their own role, to also establish partnership relations with others. From the experience of organizing the 2021 Asia-Pacific Environmental Education Forum, Taiwan has learned how partnerships facilitate more dialogue and help to disseminate valuable knowledge. Exchanges and cooperation between partners will continue to strengthen further through the GEEPs APRC.
Professor Tzu-chau Chang, Project Director of the APRC, made a presentation on APRC achievements to consultants from other countries. His presentation was of assistance to the continual strengthening of environmental education efforts in the Asia-Pacific and African regions, including the future development and operation of the GEEP Africa Hub, thus strengthening a global environmental education network in which all countries can learn from each other.
Selected and awarded by the Taiwan EPA, the four young environmental leaders were subsidized to be a part of Taiwan’s delegation to the forum. They have experiences in leading and implementing environmental actions with respect to climate change, plastic reduction in daily life, net-zero carbon emissions and the marine environment. They took part in group discussions with experts and consultants to stimulate more ideas and interest in environmental education.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)