2020 International Environmental Issues and Education Workshop
The Taiwan EPA held the 2020 International Environmental Issues and Education Workshop (IEIE-2020) from November 29 to December 1, 2020. Thirty students from 16 countries participated. The students had worked in concert with SDGs, immersing themselves in environmental issues of both Taiwan and the world and attempting to find solutions for them. Through the experience sharing between activists and experts in Taiwan and those international students, the EE tasks in Taiwan were expected to be transmitted to the world and receive attention globally.
Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) was co-founded by the Taiwan EPA and USEPA, which have been committed to promoting regional and global EE work and forming international networks. GEEP APRC was established in 2019 in Taiwan with the objective to form connections and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Although cross-nation EE interaction was restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Taiwan EPA had never stopped in its path. It came up with an innovative solution to overcome the obstacles: IEIE-2020. International connections were made in a challenging time. It is satisfying to see other countries discover the EE tasks in Taiwan.
“Environmental Actions: The Force Awakens” was the theme in IEIE-2020. The courses were designed to cover both theory and practice to strengthen the participants’ understanding of sustainable development and to inspire them to act. Judy Braus, Executive Director of NAAEE, gave the opening remarks in a pre-recorded video. She shared the main idea of GEEP and encouraged participants to believe in the power of education and regard it as the potential to make change for the future.
Having learned about Taiwan’s EE experiences, the 30 youths and EE workers were assigned into groups to share their experience and innovative strategies for their hometowns. To put what they learned into practice, participants applied no-plastic lifestyle at a night market. Furthermore, the EE courses and culture tours were introduced in the workshop, including Taijiang National Park and Qiaonan Community. They immersed themselves in an atmosphere that included both traditional culture and a new environmental perspective. Through the local environmental actions, they were inspired by the power of EE, which served as the foundation for their power to act in the future.
It was delightful to see how the participants were inspired and came up with new ideas from the workshop. More people from around the world are expected to be awakened from those experiences in the future.