Minister to lead delegation to ocean conference


Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) is to lead a government delegation to the seventh Our Ocean conference in Palau this week, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday. .

The conference, to be held tomorrow and Thursday, is hosted by the United States and Palau, one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.

It would be the first time Taiwan has been able to send an official delegation to the annual event that pledges to take concrete and meaningful action to protect the ocean, the ministry said in a statement.

Photo: screenshot from Our Ocean Conference website

Previously, the EPA Minister participated in the conference in a personal capacity.

Senior government officials would also be part of the delegation, including Vice Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) and Maritime Council Vice Minister Tsai Ching-piao (蔡清標), the ministry said. .

Representatives from the coastguard administration and the fisheries agency would also join the delegation, he added.

The delegation is listed on the conference website as one of the participating “countries/authorities” as “Taiwan,” while Chang is identified as having “headed the Environmental Protection Administration ( EPA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 2019” in his biography.

Chang is due to deliver a keynote speech on Thursday, in which he is to share Taiwan’s efforts to solve marine pollution, the ministry said.

Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr had invited President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to attend the conference, but Tsai appointed Chang as his special envoy, he added.

Tsai has been in quarantine at home since Friday after someone she had dinner with later tested positive for COVID-19, her spokesperson said.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity”. It aims to build on “Palau’s rich tradition as an ocean society” and focuses “on islanders’ perspectives and approaches to ensuring the health of our ocean,” the conference website says.

The six action areas on which the conference should focus are: marine protected areas for communities, ecosystems and climate; fight against marine pollution; dealing with the ocean-climate crisis; create sustainable blue economies; advancing sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture; and achieve a safe, just and secure ocean.

The conference was originally scheduled to take place in December 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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