As part of our yearlong campaign celebrating forty years of U.S.-Taiwan friendship and cooperation, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is pleased to name December AIT@40 Environment Month. Each month of 2019 has featured a different theme, highlighting the multifaceted nature of the growing U.S.-Taiwan partnership.
In honor of AIT@40 Environment Month, AIT is happy to announce a series of events that underscore the strong ties that bind the United States and Taiwan in the area of environmental stewardship.
The foundation for the current U.S.-Taiwan cooperation on environmental stewardship was laid nearly three decades ago through technical exchanges between our two Environmental Protection Agencies. Thanks to this partnership and to Taiwan’s own initiative, Taiwan has had tremendous success addressing environmental challenges, making it one of the best places to live in Asia by environmental standards. Beyond its domestic work, Taiwan has also shown vision, leadership, and generosity as it shares its best practices with the world.
To commemorate this legacy of achievement, AIT, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (Taiwan EPA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will participate in several events that celebrate our longstanding environmental cooperation.
On December 2, U.S. EPA Director Mark Kasman will join Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia experts at an APEC meeting on the marine environment and the problem of marine debris.
On December 3, AIT Director Brent Christensen will join Taiwan EPA Minister Chang Tzi-chin and Taichung Mayor Lu Shiou-yen in opening the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) Asia-Pacific Regional Center in Taichung. The GEEP was launched by the United States and Taiwan in 2014 and is a global platform to improve and promote environmental education around the world.
On the same day in Taichung, AIT Environment, Science and Technology Officer Anna Wang will join U.S. and Taiwan environmental law enforcement experts at a workshop on waste enforcement. U.S. EPA and Taiwan EPA have jointly trained regional environmental law enforcement agencies in inspection techniques, crime scene investigation, and the use of innovative technologies.
On December 4, U.S. EPA Director Mark Kasman will award 37 schools under the U.S.-Taiwan Eco-Campus program. The Eco-Campus program, launched by our two EPAs in 2014, connects students and teachers on issues related to environmental protection, cultivates an increased understanding of environmental issues, and promotes cross-cultural learning. In just five years, the program has grown to nearly 420 schools and has involved more than 192,844 students and 16,472 teachers.
On December 17, NASA Senior Outreach Specialists Ms. Dorian Wood Janney and Mr. Peter C. Falcon will conduct a one-day environmental education workshop for GLOBE teachers at National Central University. On December 19, the two outreach specialists will deliver environmental lectures for GLOBE students and the general public. The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, supported by NASA, is an international science and education program that connects students, teachers, and scientists through environmental protection, data collection, and science-related activities.
Finally, AIT will also host two public screenings of the U.S. documentary “A Plastic Ocean” on December 13 and 28 in Kaohsiung and Taipei, respectively. “A Plastic Ocean” tells the story of the shocking impact that marine debris is having on our planet. Taiwan experts from the Sea Turtle Citizen Scientists Project will share their observations during post-screening discussions.
All these activities show the breadth and depth of the relationship between the United States and Taiwan on the environment.