On 5 to 6 September, the EPA held online the 2022 Environmental Education International Workshop - Environmental Management for Sustainable Cities jointly with Global Environmental Education Partnership Asia-Pacific Regional Center (GEEP APRC). Over 160 attendees from 16 countries took part in the event. This is the second consecutive year in which this annual conference has been organized by Taiwan, which called on multiple Asia-Pacific countries and partners to exchange ideas and insights on various environmental issues and sustainable development.
The 2022 conference had the theme of “Environmental Management for Sustainable Cities,” which answered to the call of the 11th UN Sustainable Development Goal, sustainable cities and communities. Participants included experts, scholars, staff in related fields, school teachers, and youth leaders from Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bhutan, Australia, and Taiwan. Discussions on environmental education over correlations between human society and natural environments were held, and experience and actions during urban development to protect environments were shared. Stories of how regular citizens transformed cities, campuses, and communities to become more environment-friendly via their daily lives within these premises were highlighted.
In the opening speech, EPA Minister Tzi-Chin Chang mentioned that since 2020 Taiwan has been actively promoting living green, which is one of Taiwan’s 12 key strategies in its transformation toward net-zero emissions by 2050. He hoped that instead of underestimating the efforts of an individual, citizens can use their daily actions to motivate industries and the supply ends in the market to make adjustments and pledges in order to cut down the loss of environmental resources.
In addition, Director Tsung-Yung Liu of the EPA Department of Comprehensive Planning shared Taiwan’s experiences in a talk on lifestyles of net-zero emissions through environmental education. Via systematic facilitation, environmental education in Taiwan has been able to reach more people and groups in diverse and creative manners to promote environment-friendly diets, travels, consumptions, households, and offices, which are important parts of one’s daily life.
Of the 31 conference speakers, five were young people from different nations that shared their ongoing environmental advocates and campaigns. The force of the younger generation and creative thinking is considered an important impetus in social development. Equipped with high awareness on environmental problems, the youth leaders not only can introduce these issues to the public, but are not shy to advocate their own beliefs and launch campaigns. Despite the online participation, the audience still had great interactions via streaming messages. Vietnamese singer Phuong Anh was a particularly wonderful surprise as she sang “Green Sounds,” a song she wrote during the conference.
The two-day conference displayed the global community’s full support and high expectations for the promotion of environmental education. Not only did it help build and strengthen regional and global partnerships, it also led to anticipation for similar collaborations that will lead to more possibilities, facilitate resilience toward environmental changes, and create a better and more sustainable future. More contents and clips of speeches in the conference can be accessed on the GEEP APRC official website (https://geepaprc.org/zh-tw).
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, October 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)