2024 Youth Innovation Challenge: Advancing Marine Conservation!

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2024 Youth Innovation Challenge: Advancing Marine Conservation!

Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2024

In partnership with the Taiwan Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA), GEEP invites you to apply for the 2024 Youth Innovation Challenge (YIC): Advancing Marine Conservation! The YIC provides an opportunity for young people ages 15–30 around the world to share their innovative solutions to protect marine resources. This year’s challenge explores how we can address marine issues, including loss of biodiversity, marine debris, lack of awareness, and other related issues, and support people of all ages to be engaged stewards to support marine environments. The YIC seeks solutions that are innovative, feasible, and informed by research. Winning solutions will receive global recognition and a $1,000 USD prize and be invited to attend the YIC award ceremony at the Taiwan Ocean Conservation Administration’s marine debris conference in Taiwan in September 2024 (all travel expenses covered)! 

Have a great idea? Follow the steps below:

  1. Read more about the Challenge, selection criteria, and more in the YIC Applicant Handbook. READ HERE 

  2. Register for the YIC Applicant Webinar on May 22, 2024, at 10:00 AM U.S. Eastern Time (convert to your time zone). REGISTER

  3. Submit your proposal below before June 12, 2024, at 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time. APPLY

Have questions? Visit our frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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2023 Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award

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2023 Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award

Date: December 20, 2023

The Ministry of Environment held the 2023 Taiwan-U.S. Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award in Taoyuan on December 20, to recognize 59 schools for receiving 2023 Eco-Campus awards, comprising 10 Green Flags, 20 Silver Flags, and 29 Bronze Flags. This was the largest number of schools to be awarded a Green Flag since the start of the Eco-Campus program.
The Ministry of Environment and the U.S. EPA have been running the Taiwan-U.S. Eco-Campus Partnership Program since 2014, with the Ministry of Education joining the program in 2021. Eco-Campus is an environmental education program that integrates the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and actively promotes environmental education in schools at all levels. The program focuses on fostering student autonomy, encouraging students to actively participate in environmental protection discussions and decisions, and allowing students to actively learn about the environment and then take action, which in turn raises awareness of environmental protection in society. Since the program started, over 600 schools have joined, and more than 400 schools have received awards, including 24 Green Flags, 161 Silver Flags, and 260 Bronze Flags. The Ministry of Environment hopes that through this program, schools will be able to promote an environmentally friendly culture, so that teachers, students, parents, communities and non-government organizations can all respond to and participate in environmental protection activities.
Eco-schools represent a significant achievement of the Ministry of Environment in promoting environmental education. The Ministry of Environment will continue to promote the Eco-Campus program, and will encourage more participation from different members in the community.

2023 Youth Innovation Challenge Award

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2023 Youth Innovation Challenge Award

Date: November 19, 2023

The Youth Innovation Challenge (YIC) is a joint collaboration between Taiwan’s Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA), Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP), and North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) launched in 2020. The aim of YIC is to empower leaders of environmental youth to address issues affecting the marine environments and ecosystems. In the third year of the program, the Youth Innovation Challenge: Saving Our Seas! invited young people between the ages of 15-30 from around the world to share their innovative solutions to protect marine resources and support people of all ages to be engaged stewards for marine conservation, using environmental education (EE) as a key component. From a pool of 136 applicants, 15 finalists were chosen to receive a certificate and global recognition through the GEEP network. Three of these finalists were selected as winners to receive a USD 1,000 prize to support their solution.

 

Overall, the YIC engaged young, innovative thinkers and environmental stewards to harness their creativity and passion, build their capacity to use environmental education to engage people in environmental solutions and provide resources and credibility that these leaders need to move their ideas forward. The YIC exemplifies GEEP’s and Taiwan OCA’s shared commitment to supporting and recognizing young innovators and leaders tackling environmental challenges.

 

Winners

 

Ajay Sawant | Pune, India

The Coral Conservancy: The First Youth-Led Coral Transplantation and Restoration Initiative Project in India

Coral continues to decline in the Indian Ocean due to environmental degradation from pollution, harmful fishing methods, coral mining, and other factors. Ajay’s innovation—a youth-led coral transplantation project in Mumbai—aims to rejuvenate the biodiversity and biomass of the adjacent waters. With a focus on addressing the critical decline of coral reefs and their ecosystem services, this project aligns with the global 30 x 30 action plan and SDG14 goals for the ocean. To achieve this goal, he and a dedicated team of passionate and trained young individuals, under the guidance of marine experts and with methodologies tailored to the Indian ecosystem, will employ advanced coral transplantation techniques to effectively restore and revive the coral reefs. Through educational programs and community outreach initiatives, this project will also inform coastal populations about the significance of marine protected areas and the importance of traditional sustainable practices.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhdl0GeImUU

 

Jennifer Obiorah & Team | Enugwu Agidi, Nigeria

TeamUpcyclers’ Ocean Restoration Challenge

Team members: Magdaline Chinenye Obiorah, Grace Ifunanya Obiorah, Lawrence Somtoochukwu Obiorah, Charles Ikedinachukwu Obiorah, Victor Emeka Ekemezie

After noticing a learning gap across primary and secondary school students regarding education about SDGs, climate change, and marine debris, Jennifer came up with the idea to host an inter-school marine debris challenge in Nigeria for students with the target of reaching out to an average of 10,000 students across the federation. The “TeamUpcyclers’ Ocean Restoration Challenge” would run for two months and would include four masterclasses to educate the students about the SDGs, climate change, marine environments, and how to conserve the marine ecosystem and biodiversity by removing marine debris. One winning team each from the primary and secondary sectors and one winning team for the most creative project will receive a prize. Having already established several partnerships in the past, Jennifer and her team aim to scale this project with the aim of reaching 50,000 Nigerian students in 5 years.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2H8UbCu-s8

 

Keira Chen | Hsinchu, Taiwan

The Ocean Library

As a volunteer at her local library, Keira noticed how young children are genuinely interested in reading, and how they especially enjoy the library’s comfy reading corner.  With this in mind, Keira came up with an innovative solution to promote ocean conservation to young children at her library by setting up an ocean-themed reading corner. The ocean-themed corner would include shelves filled with children’s picture books promoting ocean protection. Soft blue pillows, colorful chairs, and marine stuffed animals would attract children’s interest to read in the corner. Each weekend, a group of volunteers would have story-telling sessions to educate the children about ocean protection and discuss examples of ocean waste. The volunteers will be trained beforehand to ensure that they have adequate story-telling skills and accurate knowledge of marine life and current ocean issues. Beyond storytelling, other activities in the ocean-themed reading corner will include a small puppet show and opportunities to create artwork of marine animals and ocean protection, which will subsequently be displayed in the library ocean corner. This project aims to increase children’s passion for protecting our ocean and marine animals while also empowering them with clear solutions and realistic steps to protect ocean ecosystems.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3mBjgdbzQ0

IEP at the 31st Pacific Island Environmental Conference

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IEP at the 31st Pacific Island Environmental Conference

Date: August 4, 2023

The 31st Pacific Island Environmental Conference was held jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 and the Palau Environmental Quality Protection Board from July 31 to August 4 at Koror, Palau. It was the first PIEC post the pandemic, and the conference provided opportunities for the members of the US-affiliated Pacific islands to engage on various environmental issues. Over 100 participants from different Pacific Island nations gathered, including American Samoa, Chuuk, Guam, Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and Yap. Taiwan EPA was also invited to present on the accomplishment of the IEP and encourage PI nations to join.

A delegation from the Taiwan EPA presented on the IEP projects, such as Global Environmental Education Partnership, Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network, and International E-waste Management Network, as well as the recently finished Workshop on Waste Management held in Taiwan in June, which many PI representatives attended. The delegation was led by Ms. Ning-Hsin Chung of the Department of Comprehensive Planning and Mr. Jhih-Yuan Yu of the Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management.

During the visit, the delegation also met with Mark Kasman of the U.S. EPA to witness the installation of the latest mercury monitoring station in Palau. The APMMN donated the monitor to Palau EQPB in 2020, however installation was postponed due to the pandemic. And thanks to Palau’s invitation to the PIEC, Taiwan EPA also had the opportunity to install the monitor station during the visit.

12th Asia Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Annual Meeting: Expanding Mercury Monitoring in the Indo-Pacific Region

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12th Asia Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Annual Meeting: Expanding Mercury Monitoring in the Indo-Pacific Region

July 12, 2023

The 12th Asia Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network (APMMN) Annual Meeting was held on July 12, 2023. Taiwan EPA’s Deputy Ministry Wang and U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida delivered the opening remarks and recognizing both EPA’s and APMMN’s partners’ dedication and contributions to the environment. More than 50 government officials and scholars from 17 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Palau, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, South Africa, the Maldives, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), participated in the conference, which aimed to deepen the cooperation between Taiwan and other Asian countries in the area of mercury monitoring and to increase the visibility of Taiwan in international monitoring.
In addition, training on mercury wet deposition sampling and analysis techniques was organized, and representatives from various countries were arranged to visit the Joint Center for Environmental Monitoring and Technology and the Mercury Analysis Laboratory established by Taiwan, as well as to receive training on the field operation of ultra-trace mercury analysis and quality assurance and control (QA/QC), in order to enhance the mercury monitoring techniques and data quality of the partner countries.

In order to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions of mercury and its compounds, both EPAs have jointly initiated the APMMN since 2012 to promote atmospheric mercury monitoring activities, exchange of environmental monitoring technologies, and sharing of monitoring data among the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, APMMN aims to assist the partner countries in enhancing atmospheric mercury monitoring in accordance with Article 19 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Since its implementation, APMMN has assisted partner countries to build 13 mercury wet deposition samplers and analyze more than 1,450 rainwater mercury samples. It was hoped thata close partnership could be established through this symposium to jointly promote the Minamata Convention on Mercury and build a sustainable future for future generations.

2023 IEMN Annual Meeting in New Orleans

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2023 IEMN Annual Meeting in New Orleans

September 19, 2023

After three years of absence, the physical International E-waste Management Network Annual Meeting returned to New Orleans, USA from September 19 to 21. Because of the pandemic, no physical meeting was held since the last meeting in Bangkok, Thailand of 2019. This year, the IEMN Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the E-reuse & E-scrap Conference, which focused on electronics reuse and repairability. The annual meeting invited government officials, business representatives, and academic scholars from Chile, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador Paraguay, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and the U.S. to share the latest update on e-waste management in respective countries and new development from the industry.

A panel of IEMN speakers from Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and the U.S. was invited to host a session on e-waste management in the E-reuse & E-scrap Conference and shared perspective from regulators across the globe. Also, IEMN participants were able to join all the E-reuse & E-scrap Conference sessions during the meeting.

2023 International Symposium on Environmental Education – Transitioning to Net Zero through Resource Circulation

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2023 International Symposium on Environmental Education - Transitioning to Net Zero through Resource Circulation

Monday, August 21, 2023

In order to promote exchange and cooperation in environmental education in the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan EPA and the Global Environmental Education Partnership Asia-Pacific Center (GEEP APRC) organized the 2023 International Symposium on Environmental Education – Transitioning to Net Zero through Resource Circulation on August 21 and 22. Environmental education experts, scholars, and practitioners of the Asia-Pacific region from eleven countries were invited to join the symposium in Taiwan. In the morning, Taiwan EPA Minister Chang and U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida unveiled the new location of the Asia-Pacific Center for Global Environmental Education Partnership (APCGEEP) at the National Environmental Research Academy, Ministry of Environment (MOENV).

Aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the theme of this year’s event was “Toward a Net-Zero Transition through Resource Circulation,” with a focus on environmental education and social participation. Deputy Minister Shen of Taiwan EPA, and Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida of the U.S. EPA delivered opening remarks and invited environmental education scholars, experts, and practitioners from 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Bhutan, Australia, and New Zealand, to share their experiences on the promotion of “Net-Zero Green Living,” “Sustainable Recycling of Marine Waste,” and “Sustainability Education and Parternership.”

Deputy Minister Shen expressed that Taiwan EPA and the U.S. EPA jointly initiated and promoted the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) in 2014, and the program has successfully connected our partner countries’ organizations and professionals to jointly promote environmental education around the world. The Asia-Pacific Center is dedicated to fostering collaboration among government agencies, academics, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), with a focus on increasing the resilience of the Asia-Pacific region to global environmental challenges through environmental education. In the future, we hope that the Asia-Pacific Center will continue to build a partnership network, exchange work with environmental education partners from governments, schools, enterprises, and non-governmental organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, and conduct training for young talents in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as organize youth internship programs across countries.

Ministry of Environment Officially Inaugurated Aiming for Sustainable Development

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Ministry of Environment Officially Inaugurated Aiming for Sustainable Development

Date: August 22, 2023

In response to environmental changes worldwide and the demand for an improvement in the quality of the environment in Taiwan, on May 24, 2023, President Tsai officially announced the Organic Act of the Ministry of Environment, which restructured the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) as the Ministry of Environment. The inauguration ceremony included the official appointment of Shieu Fuh-sheng as the new minister. Under the witness of distinguished guests, Premier Chen Chien-jen presented the appointment order and official seal to Minister Shieu. President Tsai Ing-wen, Premier Chen Chien-jen, Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Jane Nishida, and other esteemed guests joined Minister Shieu for the unveiling of the ministry’s plaque, marking the completion of the inauguration.
The establishment of the Ministry of Environment is in response to critical concerns such as achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, improving air quality, resource circulation, and chemical substance management. The official environmental strategy has shifted from controlling pollution to preventive management, integrating responsibilities and expanding operations, and systematically addressing the five major environmental issues.
The ministry stated that to accelerate Taiwan’s response to climate change, a dedicated Climate Change Administration is established. The management of industrial waste recycling is consolidated and resource circulation strengthened with the establishment of the Resource Circulation Administration. Comprehensive chemical substance management in the country will be handled by the newly formed Chemicals Administration. Moreover, the Environmental Management Administration is designed to enhance waste treatment facility coordination and environmental quality management. Additionally, the National Environmental Research Academy is established to bolster environmental research capabilities and elevate the expertise for reaching net-zero targets. The ministry’s primary aim is to “actively address global environmental challenges and create transitional opportunities for Taiwan.”
The inception of the ministry reflects the government’s increased effectiveness in promoting green economy and sustainable development policies. With continuing environmental education and campaigns, the ministry aims to raise the public’s environmental awareness. Moving steadfastly towards the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, the ministry pledges to ensure that future generations would have a clean and healthy environment.

Celebrating 30 years of Taiwan-U.S. Environmental Cooperation

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Celebrating 30 years of Taiwan-U.S. Environmental Cooperation

Date: August 21, 2023

The Technical Cooperation Agreement between Taiwan and the US was signed in 1993, and now three decades later, a commemorative event was held at Huashan Creative Park to reflect on the accomplishments made over the years between the two environmental protection organizations. During the event, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Ya-Fen Wang expressed her deepest gratitude to U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida for her support over the past 30 years, as well as to government agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspections, and the Ocean Conservation Administration, for their collaboration in program implementation. Deputy Minister Wang highlighted the close cooperation between Taiwan and the United States over the past 30 years, emphasizing how this collaboration has fostered exchanges and advancements in environmental technology and sustainable development. Deputy Minister Wang expressed that the event was not only a reflection of the past but also a glimpse into the future, where both countries will continue to collaborate to address global environmental challenges.
Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency commended the three decades of fruitful cooperation between Taiwan and the US and expressed her hopes for deeper collaboration in the future. She emphasized that as we celebrate the 30 years of partnership and the successes achieved together through IEP, it is important to identify future opportunities to strengthen this strong partnership and highlight Taiwan’s global environmental leadership, and to address critical environmental issues and build resilience communities through new and expanded programs for a better and sustainable earth.
The celebrations of the 30th anniversary of Taiwan-U.S. Environmental Technology Cooperation will continue, featuring discussions with experts and scholars who will share the latest developments in environmental technology. This event is expected to further enhance the collaborative exchanges between the two countries in the field of environmental protection, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Taiwan-US EPA International Workshop on Advanced Technology for Soil and Groundwater Remediation

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Taiwan-US EPA International Workshop on Advanced Technology for Soil and Groundwater Remediation

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Since 2005, Taiwan and US EPAs have been collaborating to introduce and localize innovative ideas and technologies to improve the effectiveness of soil and groundwater contaminated sites, with the ultimate goal of establishing a reference model to share with Southeast Asian partners. This year, Taiwan EPA invited 20 experts from the United States to attend the “2022 International Workshop on Advanced Site Modeling, Characterization, and Remediation Technologies for Contaminated Sites” from December 14 to 15 in Tainan. Over 150 participants from industry, government, and academia, both locally and abroad, were invited to attend the seminar to learn about the latest development of pollution investigation and remediation technologies.

In his opening remarks, Taiwan EPA Deputy Minister Tsai expressed that the workshop is an great opportunity for environmental professionals to share their practical experience and insights on remediation of contaminated sites annual event in the field of soil and groundwater remediation for our country and our environmental partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region. US EPA Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida emphasized in her remark that soil and groundwater remediation has always been an important issue in Taiwan-U.S. environmental cooperation, and has laid a good foundation for the expansion of Taiwan-led multilateral cooperation.

Through the two-day workshop, Taiwan EPA hopes the participants can further develop the concepts and technical skills of soil and groundwater contamination investigation and remediation in Taiwan, and prepare for the upcoming ReSAG Steering Committee meeting on December 16, which will bring together environmental alliances and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region to accelerate the achievement of pollution remediation and environmental quality improvement.