Taiwan, Australia and the United States cooperate to promote the Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network

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Taiwan, Australia and the United States cooperate to promote the Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

On August 2, 2022, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced its cooperation with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization(CSIRO) to establish a mercury wet deposition monitoring station at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory using a Taiwan-made instrument. The cooperation ceremony was attended by Director Dr. Daniel J. Metcalfe of Oceans and Atmosphere at CSIRO, Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida of the US EPA, Director General Wallace M.G. Chow of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and Deputy Representative Ken Wei-chung Lai of the Taipei Economic and  ultural Office in Australia. Deputy Representative Mr Michael Googan of the Australian Office received a model of the instrument on behalf of CSIRO representing the cooperation. The Oceans and Atmosphere Group at CSIRO is the largest government-supported atmospheric chemistry academic center in Australia and is  enowned in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force in 2017. The Taiwan EPA and the US EPA initiated the Asia Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network (APMMN), in 2012, with support from the MOFA. One major objective of the APMMN is to assist countries in the Indo-Pacific region to develop their mercury monitoring and  ssessment capacities. Currently, the APMMN is operated by the National Central University and has 15 partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia, as the final piece of the puzzle, has become the 16 th  partner country of the now-complete APMMN.

This ceremony highlighted Taiwan EPA’s goodwill toward international cooperation, and the need for the international community to strengthen the mercury  onitoring capacity in the Southern Hemisphere and the Indo-Pacific region. With the new monitoring station in Australia’s Northern Territory, the Taiwan and US EPA’s will deepen cooperation with Australia’s CSIRO to provide new insights into mercury emissions in the region as we work together to reduce mercury in the atmosphere and protect the environment.

2021 Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony

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2021 Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The 2021 Taiwan-US Eco-Campus Partnership Program Award Ceremony was held on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 in Taipei. This event was conducted to celebrate the collaboration between the Taiwan EPA and the MOE (Ministry of Education) on the Eco-Campus Partnership, and to recognize schools that were qualified for the Eco-Campus program. This year 6 schools were awarded the Green flag, 19 schools were awarded the Silver, and 26 schools were awarded the Bronze.

The ceremony invited Ms. Rhiannon Bramer, Economic Officer of the American Institute in Taiwan to deliver remarks. Ms. Elizabeth Soper, Senior Director of the National Wildlife Federation K-12 education responsible for Eco Schools in the United States, was also invited to give video remarks to encourage the awarded schools this year. The Taiwan EPA hopes to see everyone continue to work hard to promote this meaningful project.

Since 2014, the Taiwan EPA has been working together with the US EPA and the National Wildlife Federation to promote this partnership. For more information, please visit http://ecocampus.epa.gov.tw.

GEEP Africa Event at COP 26 in Glasgow

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GEEP Africa Event at COP 26 in Glasgow

November 12, 2021

To further promote the linkage between environmental education and addressing climate change, the GEEP held a side event at the COP 26 summit in Glasgow on November 12. The side event was a joint effort between Taiwan and the US EPA and was attended by Deputy Minister Shen Chih-hsiu of the Taiwan EPA, Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida of the US EPA, and other distinguished guests and EE experts from around the globe.

In the opening remarks, Deputy Minister Shen spoke about how the Taiwan and US EPA have a deep foundation of cooperation and friendship in climate change adaptation and mitigation, and they recognize that in order to find inclusive and sustainable solutions from the perspective of environmental protection, it is necessary to combine the strengths of various governmental agencies, as well as businesses and civil society organizations. Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida expressed gratitude for the long-term support of all the environmental education partners present in person and online. Past achievements show that the GEEP, with the collaboration of public and private partners, not only provides environmental knowledge and inspiration, but also focuses on youth empowerment and motivating young people to take action, successfully driving this most inspiring force of youth for the benefit of the environment.

In 2019, the GEEP Asia Pacific Regional Center (APRC) was established in Taiwan, and is mainly responsible for the promotion of regional environmental education. The APRC continues to construct a communication network in the Asia Pacific region, and not only extends Taiwan’s experience into the region but also to the world. Currently, GEEP has partners from Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam that have joined the network, and today’s event was a great opportunity to reach out to African countries as global environmental education partners. The African delegates shared with others the current state of environmental education in Africa and what is hoped to be achieved, and explained that the GEEP Africa’s vision will play a key role in amplifying the power of environmental education in the region. Finally, a representative of African youth leaders concluded the event by calling on all generations to work together to address the environmental challenges of climate change, and to empower youth to learn, participate and act on climate change.

For more information on GEEP and its activities, please visit https://thegeep.org/.

2021 GEEP event: Let’s Learn from Each Other for a Sustainable World International Online Workshop

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2021 GEEP event: Let's Learn from Each Other for a Sustainable World International Online Workshop

September 3, 2021

The GEEP Asia-Pacific Regional Center (APRC) was established in December 2019 in Taiwan to assist partner countries in the Asian region to strengthen their environmental education (EE) programs. This activity was the first international event held by the GEEP APRC, and the workshop aimed to facilitate cooperation of environmental education in the Asia-Pacific region and amplify the impact and action of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through environmental education. Experts from Bhutan, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam were invited to share their EE practices with panelists from Taiwan.

The two-day program was opened by Director-General Liu of the Department of Comprehensive Planning of the Taiwan EPA and Executive Director Judy Braus of the North American Association for Environmental Education, and both emphasized the importance of EE in international collaboration and achieving sustainable development. The workshop focused on four key topics: communication through legislation and policies; community environmental education; environmental education materials, and; development training of EE advocators.

For more information on GEEP and its activities, please visit https://thegeep.org/.

10th Annual Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network Partners Meeting

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.