The three-day 2021 Asia-Pacific Environmental Education Forum was successfully concluded on 2 December 2021. More than 500 partners from 63 countries worldwide participated in this event, the first large-scale international environmental education exchange organized jointly by the Taiwan and US EPAs. Conducted through a mix of online and physical activities to circumvent difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum was held to deepen the effects of environmental education in the Asia-Pacific region and strengthen the cooperation network in the future, starting a new chapter of environmental education in the region.
More than 50 environmental education experts and scholars from 14 countries and different fields served as speakers and interlocutors in the forum. Crossing regional barriers with inspiring dialogues, they shared practical experiences from their respective countries. They showed how to solve environmental and social issues such as climate change, friendly agriculture, marine conservation, global citizenship, biodiversity, and environmental justice through environmental education. They also tried to use the forum as a platform to promote environmental education exchanges and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, enhance the effects of education, and expand people's leadership in environmental issues and actions.
Since this year happened to be the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of Taiwan's Environmental Education Act, the EPA specially organized a comprehensive discussion session on "Taiwan Environmental Education and Prospects" after the first day of the global online forum. Domestic experts, scholars, practitioners, and partners from the public and private sectors were invited to review the problems and difficulties encountered by the government, schools, enterprises, communities, and non-governmental organizations in the promotion of environmental education and proposed solutions with the prospect to re-innovate, evolve and deepen the promotion.
At the end of the forum, special emphasis was placed on inspiring youth leadership. The younger generations tend to have a high awareness and keen observation on environmental issues. Young talents should be cultivated, encouraged, and provided with opportunities and rights for participation and decision-making. Tsung-Yung Liu, Director of the Department of Comprehensive Planning of the EPA, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the world and challenged our previous thinking and lifestyle, and the promotion of environmental policies and education should also evolve with time.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, December 2021
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)