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2023 GEEP Meeting Commences in Northern Ireland

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From 15 to 11 August, the 2023 Global Environmental Education Partnership Meeting was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland by the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) program, co-initiated by the EPA and the USEPA since 2014. Taiwan’s delegation was led by Deputy Director Hsu Shu-chih of the EPA Department of Comprehensive Planning. It also included three representatives from ecological schools as well as Professors Chang Tzu-chau and Pai Tzu-i, both experts in this field. The conference brought together approximately 30 environmental education experts and scholars from the public sector and NGOs in various countries for exchanges and discussions.

Continuing from the 2022 conference, this meeting was jointly organized by the EPA, the USEPA, and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). The main local facilitator is Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, a civil society organization that promotes environmental education in Northern Ireland. In addition to inviting experts to discuss the GEEP’s future strategic goals and implementation methods, the conference had participants sharing experiences and operational status of regional environmental education centers. The expert advisors in attendance came from various countries, including the UK, India, Canada, Botswana, Nepal, the US, and Taiwan.

Deputy Director Hsu expressed during the conference that, with increasingly frequent exchanges and cooperation around the globe, Taiwan is committed to advancing environmental education by cultivating young international environmental talents and promoting ecological schools. It is hoped to create an environment where all living beings coexist and thrive through the influence of environmental education. She also expressed gratitude to the USEPA and international partners for their contributions. Since the initiation of the GEEP Program in 2014, the past decade has witnessed even more rapid climate change worldwide. Taiwan wishes to further promote environmental education with the GEEP to tackle challenges that may confront humanity in the future.

In order to strengthen regional cooperation networks, in 2019 the Asia-Pacific Regional Center (APRC) was established in Taiwan under the GEEP framework. Besides promoting regional environmental education, the APRC is responsible for building in the Asia-Pacific region an environmental education exchange network dedicated to integrating information platforms for environmental education. In the conference, Professor Chang Tzu-chau, the APRC’s project director, also talked about the center’s current operation status and promoted the 2023 GEEP APRC International Exchange Workshop, inviting experts from around the world to participate in the event’s live broadcast online.

In addition, the delegation took advantage of the trip to visit Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful (KNIB), an organization promoting environmental education in Northern Ireland, and, during the visit, shared achievements of Taiwan's ecological schools. The three delegates representing Taiwan’s ecological schools were Principal Hsu Ching-hung of Dashan Elementary School in Miaoli County, Director of Student Affairs Yen Hsiu-wen of Tzu Chi High School Elementary Department in Tainan City, and Director Ho Chia-hui of Sinpu Elementary School in Taoyuan City. The visit to KNIB allowed for mutual learning of international experiences and aimed to create future opportunities for more exchanges between ecological schools at home and abroad.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, August 2023
Ministry of Environment