10th Annual Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Partners Meeting

NEWS

10th Annual Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Partners Meeting

Date: October 6, 2021

The 10th annual APMMN partners meeting was held virtually on Oct. 6, 2021 and attended by more than 60 participants from around the globe. The virtual meeting was opened by Deputy Minister Tsai Hung-teh of the Taiwan EPA and Director Mark Kasman of the US EPA. Both congratulated the network on reaching 10 years of successful accomplishment and stressed the important contributions the network has made to the international community. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this was the second time APMMN partners had to meet online and share updates on their mercury monitoring progress. Participants from Canada, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam provided the latest status of mercury monitoring in their respective countries. In addition, the event welcomed two new organizations — the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia and the Southern Continuous Emission Monitoring of Vietnam — to share their mercury monitoring experiences. All the guest speakers expressed hope for the possibility of convening a physical annual meeting in 2022. To learn more about APMMN and the workshop, please visit http://apmmn.org/workshops.

IEMN 2.0: A New Era of Global E-waste Management Online Meeting

NEWS

IEMN 2.0: A New Era of Global E-waste Management Online Meeting

Date: September 28, 2021

To mark the 10th anniversary of the IEMN platform, the Taiwan EPA collaborated with Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), China Productivity Center (CPC) and the Australian Office in Taipei to host the 2021 IEMN virtual meeting on Sept. 28, 2021. The virtual event, IEMN 2.0: A New Era of Global E-waste Management, was the first IEMN event held post-Covid-19, as well as the very first online event for IEMN. The virtual event focused on updates of e-waste management in Southeast Asia, and invited representatives from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam. The event was also the first to invite a representative from Australia. Mr. Warren Overton of the Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform gave the keynote address on e-waste recycling in Australia. The half-day online event was attended by over 100 online participants from both Taiwan and abroad.

In the afternoon, the event shifted the focus to the Bilateral Meeting between Australia and Taiwan on plastic recycling and circular economy. The afternoon session invited three experts in the field of plastic recycling and management from Australia and Taiwan who shared key policies and technologies from their respective countries.

The IEMN plans to host more online meetings later this year for other IEMN members to update on their e-waste management status. For more information on IEMN and its activities, please visit https://iemn.net.

The 2020 Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony

NEWS

The 2020 Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony

Date: December 2, 2020

      The 2020 Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony was held at the Caesar Park Hotel Taipei on December 2, 2020. The ceremony recognized the schools that received eco-campus awards in 2020, including 5 Green Flags, 11 silver awards and 16 bronze awards. It was organized by the Taiwan EPA, with Environment, Science, Technology and Health (ESTH) officer of the American Institute in Taiwan, Ms. Rhiannon Bramer, invited to deliver remarks and hand out the awards. Ms. Kim Martinez, vice president of the Education Office of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), who is in charge of eco-schools in the United States, gave opening remarks via pre-recorded video.
      The five schools awarded the highest honor Green Flags were Micang Elementary School, Jhong-Fu Elementary School, Sin-Nan Elementary School, Dashan Elementary School and Hu-Shan Experimental Elementary School. Among them, Dashan Elementary School and Hu-Shan Experimental Elementary School were repeat green flag award winners. A total of 32 schools set up exhibitions and posters at the ceremony to display their environmental performance.
      Since 2014, 439 schools have joined the Taiwan-U.S. Eco-Campus School program, of which 291 have received awards, comprising 14 green flags, 108 silver awards, and 169 bronze awards. These achievements demonstrate the importance of the collaboration between the US EPA and the Taiwan EPA in the area of environmental education. The US-Taiwan Eco-Campus Partnership is an International Environmental Partnership (IEP) program launched in April 2014 by the Taiwan EPA and the US EPA, in collaboration with the NWF, for the purpose of promoting eco-campus programs and environmental education to achieve a sustainable future through schools and the education of children.

Get in the Loop: From Recycling to Circularity Circular Economy Collaboration and Business Opportunity Development Session

NEWS

Get in the Loop: From Recycling to Circularity Circular Economy Collaboration and Business Opportunity Development Session

Date: October 29, 2020

    In a continuing effort to further expand partnerships in international recycling operations and to maintain collaboration with New Southbound countries, on Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 28-29 the Taiwan EPA held ‘From Recycling to Circularity: Circular Economy Collaboration and Business Opportunity Development Session’, inviting more than 20 participants from international trade and commerce offices based in Taiwan, such as those of Australia, Denmark, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Thailand.
    During the business matching opportunity session on Oct. 29, representatives from Australia, Denmark, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Nepal Office in Taiwan briefly spoke about their current situations in recycling and investment opportunities. This was followed by eight recycling and circular economy related businesses introducing their operations, including Chung Tai Resource Technology Corp., Da Fon Environmental Technology Corp., E&E Recycling, Enrestec and Spring Pool Glass. In addition, ten New Southbound country students were invited from Taiwan National University, National Taipei University of Technology, and Chung Yuan Christian University.
    The International E-waste Management Network (IEMN) is a joint collaboration program between the Taiwan EPA and US EPA, under the International Environmental Partnership. Since its establishment, IEMN has held many annual workshops in various partner countries, such as Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Colombia, to share and exchange e-waste management best practices. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the IEMN was not able to hold an in-person meeting this year. Instead, the business matching session of the event was shared online with IEMN members, with Thailand and Colombia joining the event.

    The Taiwan EPA further pointed out that Taiwan has exceptional resource recycling technology, and is willing to share more information on it with anyone interested through events such as this one. This is also an effort to reflect the spirit of the UN SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals. The Taiwan EPA sincerely hopes to build upon the positive outcomes of this event and make greater achievements through regional development.

2020 Children’s Environmental Health Session in the Global Health Forum

NEWS

2020 Children’s Environmental Health Session in the Global Health Forum

October 24, 2020

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) opened the “Taiwan Global Health Forum 2020” on October 23, 2020. The “Children’s Environmental Health” session, organized by the Taiwan Health Promotion Administration and co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration, took place on October 24.

This is the third time that Taiwan and the United States have collaborated on a children’s environmental health meeting. This year’s conference session was specially organized for pediatricians and health care professionals. Due to the pandemic, officials, experts and scholars from Southeast Asian countries could not participate in person, but environmental and health officials from Afghanistan, Indonesia and Malaysia were able to join the session online.

In his opening remarks, Minister Chen of the MOHW stated the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact globally, but the crisis has shown the world how Taiwan has employed rigorous epidemic prevention strategies, and is committed to sharing these techniques and experiences through international disease control networks. Taiwan successfully minimized the pandemic’s health and economic impacts, thanks to the combined efforts of experts, medical staff and citizens. This experience reminds us that both health and environmental protection are transboundary issues in a world growing ever smaller. We therefore seek to expand partnerships with experts worldwide to raise global awareness of children’s health and environmental issues.

Deputy Minister Tsai echoed the theme of this year’s forum on Innovation, Inclusion and Partnership for SDGs, and said that the Taiwan EPA has always followed the same beliefs and principles to apply innovative technologies and integrated legislation for the sake of promoting diversified solutions, improving air quality and enhancing public health.

Jane Nishida, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), began by praising Taiwan’s excellent epidemic prevention efforts and said that Taiwan has been equally successful in environmental protection. She quoted US Health Secretary Alex Azar, who during a recent visit to Taiwan said that “During these difficult times, the United States knows that we will always have a friend in Taiwan, and we will not shy away from telling the rest of world that they too can rely on Taiwan”. Ms. Nishida believes that by taking advantage of bilateral cooperation channels and the platform of the International Environmental Partnership (IEP), Taiwan and the U.S. can work together to advance awareness of and progress on children’s environmental health issues in the region.

The session included: a U.S. pediatrician sharing ‘A Pediatrician’s View of Environmental Exposures and Health Effects’; the Director of the Office of Children’s Health Protection of the USEPA speaking on ‘The Benefits of a National Office for Children’s Environmental Health Issues’; a U.S. health research expert presenting ‘Air Quality and Children’s Health Training’; and, a Taiwanese pediatrician talking about ‘Air Pollution and Allergic Diseases in Children’. Through the exchange of views and sharing of experiences, the participants started to learn across borders and fields, and jointly promoted the development of a healthy environment for children in the Asia Pacific region.

2020 CEMS Virtual Webinar Training

NEWS

2020 CEMS Virtual Webinar Training

Date: September 10, 2020

    On the recommendation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration was invited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines to attend the Webinar on Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS), held on September 10, 2020, to give a presentation on the regulatory system and auditing practices of CEMS in Taiwan.

    The webinar was opened by OIC Director Engr. Cunado of the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR. The U.S. EPA experts then continued with a presentation on its CEMS program for various air pollutants, data quality, monitoring reports, and audit methods.  The case of Mystic Station, an oil-fired, steam-electric power plant in Massachusetts, was cited as an example to share the application of CEMS in the plant’s regulatory compliance and improvement oversight, as well as pollution reporting, remediation and civil referrals. The U.S. EPA also reported on the technology and equipment used in detecting VOC leaks. Utilizing the Thermo TVA 2000 that is equipped with FID and PID, and in accordance with LDAR and ECMS, it is then possible to detect VOC, efficiently reducing the density of gas leak in the area, while acquiring hourly monitor data, making it more flexible to observe and control.

    Taiwan then proceed to share CEMS-related regulations in Taiwan. As the Taiwan EPA has had abundant experience in operating the system when it comes to targeting and practicing, with the help of all-around structure and data assistance, the Taiwan EPA provided the Philippines with clear instructions. Judging from their reactions during the Q&A session, the Filipino participants showed great interest in Taiwan’s system and expressed desire to continue exchanges with Taiwan in the future.

    The DENR presented a Certificate of Appreciation for each presenter, hoping to further deepen the exchange between Taiwan, the United States and the Philippines in the area of air pollutant monitoring.

2020 Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Meeting

NEWS

2020 Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Meeting

Date: September 8, 2020

The 9th Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Annual Meeting was held on September 8, 2020. Given the continued spread of COVID-19 around the world, the meeting was held online. A total of more than 50 experts and scholars from 18 countries participated.
The meeting was kicked off with speeches by Taiwan EPA Deputy Minister Hung-Teh Tsai and USEPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida. Deputy Minister Tsai mentioned that 2020 has been a fruitful year for APMMN, which expanded from 7 partner countries in 2012 to 18 partner countries in 2020. And last year, thanks to the hard work of APMMN partners, our network was honored by UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen in her speech at the Opening of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, because the “APMMN strengthens national capacity and supports a region-wide network of mercury monitoring laboratories.”
Ms. Nishida praised the development and expansion of the APMMN, and said she was glad that the program has gained partners since it was first founded as a rainwater collection platform. Partners such as the Ministry of the Environment of Japan have been actively assisting with the carrying out of APMMN activities. In the future, other than rainwater collection and the strengthening of air quality monitoring, cooperation in other fields – for example bio-data – can be anticipated. As a critical part of the program, the capacity of laboratories in National Central University could also be expanded. As the visibility and momentum of the APMMN continue to grow, Taiwan’s continued leadership and the commitment of its experts will be essential.
At this meeting, partner countries discussed: the latest updates on the Minamata Convention; the APMMN overview and report on the state of the network; expanding the utility of rainwater and air mercury monitoring data; and they also exchanged ideas on the most recent developments in atmospheric mercury monitoring. The purpose of the meeting was to not only increase the capacity of partner countries to monitor atmospheric mercury, but also to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of implementation of the Minamata Convention.

Taiwan partners with EU to promote circular economy

NEWS

Taiwan partners with EU to promote circular economy

Date: Dec. 9, 2019

To promote Taiwan-EU circular economy cooperation, the Minister of the Taiwan EPA, Chang Tzi-chin, led a delegation of representatives from government, research institutions, and manufacturing firms to attend the 2019 EU-Taiwan Circular Economy Seminar in Brussels, Belgium, on December 9, 2019. During the seminar, Mr. Timo Pesonen, Director General of the European Development Agency, and Ms. Joanna Drake, Deputy Director General of the European Environment Agency, shared their experiences and results regarding plastic recycling, recycling of construction materials, and design and recycling of solar panels in their cooperation between Taiwan and the EU.

The Taiwan EPA will hold a series of activities including “EU innovation week” and “circular economy week” in 2020. In addition, high-level EU representatives will be invited to participate and cooperate with Taiwan-EU industries, to make Taiwan a circular economy island.

Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony

NEWS

Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony

Date: Dec. 4, 2019

The Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Award Ceremony was held at Jinlong Elementary School in New Taipei City on December 4, 2019. The event was hosted by the Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan, and saw Mr. Mark Kasman from the US Environmental Protection Agency along with a representative from the American Institute in Taiwan to present the awards. Representatives from the Ministry of Education, local Education Bureaus, local Environmental Protection Bureaus and eco-campus schools also participated in the event. This year, representatives from 36 schools from around the country were in attendance to receive awards, including three Green Flags, 13 Silver Medals, and 21 Bronze Medals.

Posters were displayed to show the achievements and uniqueness of each school’s environmental roadmap. Jinlong Elementary School, which assisted in the event, was awarded an Eco-Campus School Silver Medal Certification this year. Their Ecological Action Team led the invited guests on a tour of the school to display the highlights and achievements of their eco-campus.

2019 Practitioners’ Workshop on Solid Waste Law Enforcement

NEWS

2019 Practitioners’ Workshop on Solid Waste Law Enforcement

Date: Dec. 3, 2019

The Practitioners’ Workshop on Solid Waste Law Enforcement (PWSWE) was held in Taichung from December 3-5, 2019. Senior experts from the US EPA were invited to share law enforcement practices throughout the three-day workshop. During the event participants also gained valuable experience learning about the practical operation of environmental analysis instruments.
To strengthen the relationships between New Southbound countries and Taiwan, the workshop invited government officials from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network. In addition, Taiwan’s environmental law enforcement personnel were invited to share their experiences.
The workshop aimed to improve environmental law enforcement practices through the sharing of achievements and experience in law enforcement from the US and Taiwan. Participants from New Southbound countries also had the opportunity to discuss what they need in order to establish sound law enforcement systems in their respective countries.