Youth Innovation Challenge 2022: Tackling Marine Debris!

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Youth Innovation Challenge 2022: Tackling Marine Debris!

Wednesday, November 30 2022

As part of the GEEP program, the Youth Innovation Challenge (YIC) provides opportunities to youth from around the world to address urgent and pressing environmental issues through innovative solutions. The 2022 YIC theme was marine debris and a total of 84 innovations from 32 countries were submitted. In the end, 15 finalists were chosen, and the top 3 innovations were awarded USD 1,000 grant.

  1. Reducing Debris in Akassa Marine Environment Through Social Behavioural Change

Mac-Donald Taribio Jim-Dorgu | Yenagoa, Nigeria

Addressing the problem of marine debris in his region, Mac-Donald Taribio Jim-Dorgu aims to organize and facilitate town hall meetings with influential community leaders—including traditional rulers, youth leaders, women groups, faith-based organizations, and leaders of African traditional religion—across 20 coastal communities in Nigeria. The goal of this solution is to use environmental education as a lifelong learning tool to inculcate awareness of the importance of marine ecosystems in relation to human health, food security, equity, and climate change. The town hall meetings will use research-based communication tools, including Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and Community Mapping (CM) to explore the causes, effects, and solutions to marine debris in these communities. Through these town hall meetings, communities will be encouraged to develop Community By-Laws against pollution and littering practices, and Community Marine Protection Vanguards to protect nearby coasts. This solution will also get community members involved through organized beach cleanups, where volunteers can sell the plastic they collect to local recycling companies.

  1. The Ocean’s Story: Performing Arts to Save the Sea

Kyo Lee | Waterloo, Canada

After noticing the vast number of audiences reached by her school’s grand musicals, Kyo Lee envisioned The Ocean’s Story, a school-wide theatrical project designed to mitigate the impacts of marine pollution in every stage of the production, from scripting to performance to education. In collaboration with her school’s drama department, Kyo’s project will include a five-step process to write and perform a theatrical piece that would educate the community about marine debris in her region. The first step of this process will involve environmental education about marine debris and then will mobilize students to collect litter through a community-wide beach cleanup. Materials from the beach cleanup that can be reused will later be used to create costumes, props, and sets. The next steps of the process include student-led scriptwriting using research on the issue of marine debris, prop and set design, and a grand performance for the community. The performance will be an opportunity to raise awareness for marine pollution within the region, imbuing thought, discussion, and action that will create a positive ripple effect for the wider community.

  1. Litter Barrier

Muhamad Zulhairil Danial Bin Mohd Zulkifli li, Nur Fatin Fitrah Binti Ahmad Kamal, Nur Syadhira Binti Mohd Razali, & Muhammad Ismar Izhar Bin Ishak | Terengganu, Malaysia

 

Recognizing the presence of litter in rivers and its harm to waterways and ultimately the ocean, Muhamad Zulhairil Danial Bin Mohd Zulkifli (Zulhairil) and his teammates came up with a solution called Litter Barrier. Little Barrier is a floating litter trap made out of affordable (and glow-in-the-dark) materials that can be placed along the shoreline of river beds to collect floating debris. This is a feasible way to kickstart river management among local communities in Terengganu. With a focus on youth, this team will host workshops and lectures to provide education about the problem of marine debris and give tutorials on using Litter Barrier to local communities. Any plastic collected in the litter traps can be sold to recycling companies, providing a source of income for local community members.

11th APMMN Annual Meeting, More than 15 Partner Countries Joined Online Session

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11th APMMN Annual Meeting, More than 15 Partner Countries Joined Online Session

Wednesday November 2, 2022

On November 2, 2022, Taiwan EPA Deputy Minister Shen and US EPA Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida convened the 11th annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network (APMMN). Over 50 government officials and academics from 26 organizations in 18 partner countries, including the United States, Japan, Australia, and the United Nations Environment Programme, participated in the event. The annual meeting included a demonstration on the latest passive atmospheric mercury samplers by the Environment and Climate Change Canada, a presentation on the current status of APMMN implementation from the Joint Environmental Monitoring Center at National Central University, an expert panel session on the calculation of national atmospheric mercury deposition from the U.S. National Atmospheric Deposition Program, and partner countries update on the current status of atmospheric mercury monitoring.

 

To protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions of mercury and its compounds, the Minamata Convention on Mercury came into force in 2017. As a member of the global community, Taiwan and US EPAs launched the APMMN in 2012 to assist partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region to improve the capacity of atmospheric mercury monitoring in response to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The analysis results gathered by the APMMN showed that the rainwater mercury concentration of APMMN partner countries in the past three years has been decreasing year by year, which demonstrates the effectiveness of implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury in partner countries.

 

Environmental monitoring is a long term and important task, and Deputy Minister Shen paid special tribute to our partner countries for their outstanding contributions to the long-term atmospheric mercury monitoring over the past 11 years. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of Australia, which officially joined APMMN in August this year, completed its first sample collection on October 28, strengthening the capacity of the Southern Hemisphere’s atmospheric mercury monitoring network. Taiwan EPA looks forward to working with the U.S. EPA and its partners in the Indo-Pacific region to improve regional atmospheric mercury monitoring through the APMMN to implement the Minamata Convention on Mercury and build a sustainable future for the next generation.

2022 GEEP Annual Meeting

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2022 GEEP Annual Meeting

Monday, October 10, 2022

Taiwan and US EPAs jointly held the 2022 GEEP Annual Meeting on October 10, 2022, in Tucson, Arizona. The annual meeting was the first in-person meeting held since the outbreak of Covid-19. The meeting gathered over 30 participants from the government, academia, and NGOs in 11 countries to exchange and discuss on environmental education topics, and deepen participants’ engagement.

 

GEEP not only strives to promote global environmental education and establish international partnerships, but also places emphasis on enhancing regional capacity and cooperation networks in response to environmental change. Therefore, under the framework of GEEP, the Asia-Pacific Regional Center (APRC) was established in Taiwan in 2019. APRC is responsible for the promotion of environmental education in the region and the establishment of an exchange network in the Asia-Pacific region to learn, share, and work together to create a sustainable future. APRC hopes to become a model example for the establishment of other regional centers, such as the GEEP African Hub.

 

In addition, four youth environmental leaders from Taiwan were selected and sponsored by the Taiwan EPA to participate in the event. These youth leaders have made great achievements in various environmental areas such as climate change, plastic reduction, zero carbon emission, and marine environment.

IEMN Accelerating Net-Zero Emissions through E-waste Management

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IEMN Accelerating Net-Zero Emissions through E-waste Management

Friday September 23, 2022

Sponsored by the Taiwan EPA, the International E-waste Management Network held a virtual meeting on September 23 to explore on the possibility of achieving net-zero emissions through e-waste management, and showcase leading Taiwanese industries that have made significant achievement in realizing net-zero emissions. Furthermore, the event provided an opportunity for IEMN member countries to share their country’s latest implementation update on e-waste management. More than 180 participants from 28 different countries registered to participate in the half-day virtual event.

The event keynote addressed the potential contribution to net-zero through the proper recycling of e-waste to reclaim essential resources, such as aluminum, copper, gold, and plastic. It is estimated that by 2040, the electronics industry could account for 14% of total GHG emission. The event also invited a Taiwan recycling industry to share its IT-PCR plastic recycling process. Plastic is widely used in electronic products, and it accounts for a majority of the material used for production. By recycling plastic and put it back into production, it can reduce over 74% GHG emission, compare with virgin plastic material.

In the last session of the event, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Tuvalu and the US shared the latest status of e-waste management implementation in their country. Due to the pandemic, countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Tuvalu have not been to participate in recent events.

Advancing E‐Waste Management: IEMN Hosts A Full Day of
Content At Annual Meeting

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2022 IEMN Annual Meeting: Advancing E‐Waste Management

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

The International E‐waste Management Network (IEMN) hosted a full day of thought‐provoking discussions around circular economy approaches for the sustainable management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e‐waste) for regulators and policy makers around the world. More than 100 attendees from 33 different countries registered to participate in the event in real time, and the recorded sessions are also available to registered participants of the IEMN community.

The 2022 IEMN annual meeting included presentations from 13 speakers from a wide range of public and private sector organizations, research institutes, and academia including Best Buy, Dell, Samsung, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Yale, and University of Minnesota among others. Sessions focused on various approaches taken to improve e‐waste collections and grow circular economy approaches, as well as to expand materials for the next generation of products.

Attendees were also taken on virtual facility tours of the TES Battery Recycling Facility in Singapore and Sims Lifecycle Services Recycling Center in La Vergne, Tennessee. The TES Battery Recycling Facility focuses on lithium ion and electric vehicle (EV) batteries with a focus on reuse and material recovery. The Sims Lifecycle Services tour showcased how they are managing the electronic waste stream and contributing to the circular economy. Sims works to reuse, repurpose, and re‐engineer as many of the products they receive and only recycle what cannot be reused.

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.