To the central content area

Feature Article: International Environmental Collaboration

line sharePrint Content

With support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the EPA has actively facilitated environmental diplomacy and promoted regional bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Programs such as seminars and exchanges are regularly organized under the International Environmental Partnership (IEP), building up Taiwan's experiences and capacity in regional environmental services. The IEP programs that are currently being carried out mainly deal with environmental issues that are of global concern as well as areas where developing nations can benefit from the Taiwan experience.

Recent implementation results

1.Bilateral Taiwan-US collaboration

(1) Signing of the Implementing Arrangement #13 to the Agreement between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States and the American Institute in Taiwan for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection

Arrangement #13, signed in September 2020, expands the bilateral cooperation scope between Taiwan and the US. Several emerging regional environmental issues that span across jurisdictions of different departments, such as renewable energy certification, ecological health for children, and marine waste, are covered in the latest Regulations.

(2) Taiwan-US atmospheric monitoring

The Taiwan EPA and USEPA jointly established the Asia-Pacific Mercury Monitoring Network (APMMN) in 2019. It has assisted partner nations such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Mongolia, Nepal, Borneo, and India with mercury wet deposition sampling techniques and mercury analysis of rainwater samples. Taiwan also works with Japan on comparing wet deposition samplers. The Taiwan EPA has also continued working with NASA on the Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) Monitoring Network and Aerosol Automatic Monitoring Network Cooperation Agreement. The NASA-certified lidar station in National Central University is the only standard Lidar station in Asia.

Taiwan also joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Carbon Circulation Greenhouse House Monitoring Network, conducting greenhouse gas monitoring on Lulin Mountain, the Pratas Islands, and the Spratly Islands.

2. Taiwan-Japan environmental exchanges and cooperation

The "Taiwan-Japan Environmental Forum" is an official platform for dialogue, negotiation and negotiation between Taiwan and Japan. Since 2006, it has been taken turns held in Taipei and Tokyo regularly. The 9th Taiwan-Japan Environmental Symposium was intended to be held in Taipei. Finally, it was conducted on 4 December 2020 in a video-conference format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are four topics highlighted in this event: collaboration in promoting environmental education; implementation of laws and regulations related to climate change; air quality monitoring of pollutants from transboundary long-range transmission; principles for streamlining and updating the EIA process for wind turbines.

3. Taiwan-EU environmental exchange

(1) Participating in the European Commission's National Experts on Professional Training (NEPTs)

Under the bilateral talks’ framework between Taiwan and the EU, the European Commission's NEPTs helped Taiwan obtain the EU's approval for Taiwan's participation. Taiwan was one of the very few non-EU member states that took part in the program.

The EPA in 2020 had chosen delegates to attend NEPTs. These recommended delegates were also reviewed and approved by the European Union’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD). The objective is to set up a liaison relationship between the EPA and the EU and conduct various environmental collaborations or exchanges.

(2) Taiwan-Germany cooperation and exchange on climate change

In October 2020, the Taiwan-Germany Carbon Market Capacity Building Workshop was held in a video-conference format, featuring delegates from the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt – UBA) and German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), along with related experts and scholars. The exchanges and discussions were shared on the implementation and development of the carbon market mechanism in Taiwan and Germany.

(3) Taiwan-UK exchange during the carbon pricing mechanism workshop

Mr. Josh Burke, an expert on carbon pricing from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of the London School of Economics and Political Science, was invited by the British Office Taipei to speak at the Taiwan-UK Carbon Pricing Mechanism and Exchange Workshop, held by the EPA on 25 February 2020. Burke shared the UK's experiences on formulating carbon pricing policies and actual implementation and exchanging with Taiwan's leading scholars, experts, and think tanks concerning greenhouse gas reduction and control policies.

(4) Environmental cooperation and exchanges with other European nations

The EPA's other endeavors with other European countries include collaboration with the Trade Council of Denmark on the INDEX Award, a Danish contest on environmental education innovations and environmental designs; working with the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to promote and exchange electric vehicle technology and garbage collection systems, and; an exchange on carbon pricing with the British Office Taipei. All of the above have greatly benefited the development of environmental protection in Taiwan and cemented Taiwan's partnerships with these European countries through collaboration and experience sharing in various environmental fields.

4. Environmental exchanges between Taiwan and Israel

As the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25) had its bilateral talk with Israel, the EPA used this opportunity to hold an environmental exchange with Israel via video conference. The two sides exchanged ideas on their respective environmental policies, new green deals, and technology.

5. Keeping up with the New Southbound Policy

The EPA has actively promoted exchanges with the New Southbound Policy's target nations, such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Of these nations, Taiwan has the most frequent exchanges with Vietnam, with which two environmental collaboration agreements have been signed.

Future efforts

Years of promotion efforts have increased the exposure of Taiwan's environmental protection achievements in the world. Taiwan has also strengthened its bilateral ties by helping regional partners improve their environmental quality and has steadily built-up beneficial interactions with these partner countries' top officials.

To develop local environmental industries, the EPA will carry out various projects in the future in line with the New Southbound Policy, including gathering information on environmental quality for the last five years in the focus nations (Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia). Data collection will target air quality, waste management, surface water body quality, soil and groundwater pollution, and marine pollution to understand critical environmental issues in these countries better.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, Feb 2021

Ministry of Environment