In view of escalating climate change and global warming, which are connected to the quality of soil and groundwater, on 26 April 2023 the EPA held the second Sustainable Soil and Water Resources and Climate Adaptation Partnership Seminar at the National Taiwan University Convention Center. With 16 experts invited, the seminar allowed those working in environmental protection to share and gain knowledge regarding climate adaptation, which in turn has enhanced communication channels and future collaboration across different fields. Over 100 participants signed up for the event, indicating increased attention regarding soil and water issues.
In his speech, EPA Minister Tzi-Chin Chang stated that, since President Tsai Ing-wen’s announcement of the goals to transition toward net-zero emissions by 2050, the EPA has actively completed revisions of regulations and established related systems. Other efforts include promoting carbon reduction and adaptation actions through Taiwan’s Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions in 2050 and the 12 Key Strategies. In terms of soil and water resource management, improvement of contaminated sites is to be accelerated. From the perspective of at-source prevention of soil and water pollution, the focus will further extend to more active post-remediation protection of soil and groundwater, following continuous research on and discussion of impacts of climate change and adaptation measures.
To deliver interdisciplinary keynote speeches and lead discussions at the seminar, the EPA especially invited experts in environmental engineering, agriculture, assessment of climate change-related disasters, soil science, and soil and groundwater pollution remediation. The goals were to better implement current practices in soil and water source remediation, facilitate climate adaptation and achieve the goal of net-zero emissions. A variety of topics were on the agenda, ranging from international trends in climate change issues, to searching for solutions in actual practices. Topics included: climate adaptation; disaster risk management at contaminated sites; remediation and restoration towards net-zero emissions, and; solutions of net-zero emissions in soil carbon sinks. The discussions received enthusiastic responses from participants.
The EPA emphasizes that, by first analyzing the substantive disaster risks posed by climate change to Taiwan's overall environment, integrated management strategies for soil and groundwater pollution sites can be proactively deployed to adapt to climate change. This approach aims to reduce remediation risks and prevent the secondary spread of pollution. Furthermore, as the world moves towards the goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions, the soil and water pollution remediation industry needs to further collaborate with the government to establish carbon inventories, carbon sequestration technologies, and carbon sink management capabilities. Together, they can pave the way for the future transformation of the soil and water pollution remediation industry.
Communication and collaboration through interdisciplinary governance are essential in the process of climate adaptation and net-zero transition. Through the guidance of experts and scholars and exchanges of ideas in discussions, the seminar enabled experts in different fields to develop future soil resource management and remediation techniques. Various stakeholders were able to form a tight-knit partnership, thus opening up a new phase of Taiwan’s environmental governance of soil and water in response to climate change.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, April 2023
- Ministry of Environment