NEWS

Taiwan and US to Jointly Hold Air Quality Monitoring Camp

In order to replicate the success of Taiwan and the US in promoting environmental education through the Kids Making Sense program, the EPAs of the two nations have decided to hold the 2016 Kids Making Sense International event in Thailand. On 19 February 2016, officials from the Taiwan and US EPAs, including Deputy Minister Shu­Chiang Fu, and US EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for International & Tribal Affairs Jane Nishida held a ceremony at Stella Matutina Girls' High School in Taichung City to inaugurate the event. The school will represent Taiwan at the event.

Climate change, global warming and air pollution have become hot topics worldwide in recent years, and many nations are busy formulating related policies and environmental regulations. Environmental education has also moved up the agenda in the hope that educating and guiding the public will encourage them to make environmental protection an integral part of their daily lives. The EPA has been running the Kids Making Sense program over the last two years with the help of the US EPA in order for Taiwan's youths to gain a better understanding of the impact that air pollution has on their immediate environment. By giving them hands­on experience using simple air quality monitoring instruments in a real­life situation, the students learn much about air quality, pollution sources and pollutants, and the connection between air quality and health. Basic knowledge such as this then becomes the foundation for cultivating an eco­friendly outlook in daily life.

In 2015, the Taiwan and US EPAs jointly held a Kids Making Sense camp at Stella Matutina Girls' High School in Taichung City. The EPA officials were impressed with the school's performance last year and thus decided – in conjunction with Taichung City Bureau of Environmental Protection ­ to hold a ceremony at the school to announce that it will represent Taiwan at the 2016 Kids Making Sense International event.

US EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida came especially to Taiwan to attend the ceremony.

Deputy Minister Fu and Ms. Nishida also paid a visit to the school's president, Sr. Agnes Chu to invite the staff and students who participated in the 2015 KMS to represent Taiwan in Thailand. The organization of the 2016 KMS reflects the successful environmental partnerships between Taiwan, US and other Asia-Pacific nations. The hope is that the successes achieved so far can be reproduced in other nations and further demonstrate Taiwan's confidence and commitment to promoting air quality monitoring as a part of environmental education.