行政院永續發展委員會委員陳治維博士撰有關台灣致力推動永續發展之專文

行政院永續發展委員會委員陳治維博士撰有關台灣致力推動永續發展之專文

「歐洲永續發展聯盟」(European Sustainable Development Network/ ESDN)2018年年會於10月1-2日在維也納Austria Center Vienna舉行,台灣立法院「聯合國永續發展諮詢委員會」會長立法委員林靜儀及行政院永續發展委員會委員陳治維也出席了這項會議。陳治維委員並將此次參加ESDN的心得整理成“Taiwan - Europe Connect: An Insight into ESDN“一文與大家分享,並希望奧國朋友們也都能看到台灣在永續發展議題所作的努力。

專文

E: Article Contribution

14 OCT 2018

 

 

Taiwan - Europe Connect: An Insight into ESDN

Contemporary human society is facing challenges arising from rapid urbanisation and local declination, natural disasters and extreme climate, resource scarcity etc., hence ESDN (European Sustainable Development Network), the largest sustainable development network in Europe, hosts the conference every year that gathers leaders and representatives working in sustainable development promotion related national councils, ministries, departments and NGOs from different European countries for them to exchange and share ideas as well as further advocate government, multiple stakeholders, NGOs, and individuals around the world to endeavour together to address the issues.

Unlike the past years, at the moment that Austria holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as by the eve of ESDN Annual Conference 2018, the Informal Summit of Heads of State or Government 2018 was hosted in Salzburg, where EU leaders gathered together and stated that everyone should endeavour together for a sustainable future in response to the increasingly severe environmental challenges. In this regard, Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Austria also actively participated in affiliated activities, showing to the world: Sustainability-related Issues, Taiwan Can Help.

Immediately following the Summit, the ESDN Annual Conference 2018 came to the stage in Vienna and even for the first time built the sustainability bridge linking Europe and Asia together, where the participation of Taiwan’s representatives together with other representatives from European countries echoed the spirit of UN SDG17 – Global Partnerships.

During the conference, the delegates from Taiwan – Ching-Yi Lin (Legislator and Chair of UN Sustainable Development Goals Advisory Committee under Legislative Yuan) and I – not only exchanged experience with representatives from other countries in the conference, but also further shared with everyone a sustainability-related short film “An SDG A Day[1] made by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan Govt.; regarding the empowerment of SDGs, Taiwan Govt. is indeed expecting to share how to implement sustainability in the daily life with our citizen fellows through multiple digital media.

Furthermore, apart from challenges induced by extreme climate, local declination also severely threatens many countries (such as ministers or delegates from France, Germany, Italy etc.); hence, it is indeed worth constantly endeavouring towards the direction of combining sustainability issues with the spirit of effective “Placemaking” process that capitalises on local community's assets, inspiration, and reimagines spaces. Connecting back to Asia, beyond the consideration of sustainability issues, Taiwan also concerns about the local declination issues, and National Development Council has been actively taking actions (i.e. locality revitalisation) to respond as well.

Going back to the core theme of ESDN Annual Conference 2018 – “Stakeholder - Policy Cooperation in the Age of the SDGs” and drawing on the wonderful speech addressed by Prof. Dr. André Martinuzzi from University of Vienna in the conference, stakeholder cooperation and other diversified forms of partnerships are attracting attention extensively and become an indispensable way to shift the paradigm and approach the sustainable development. The partnership between cross-domain and multi-level stakeholders allows them to break the boundary and flow the resources such as knowledge, experience and techniques etc. both horizontally and vertically in cheaper, faster and decentralised patterns, which could dramatically enhance the resource efficiency and maximise the benefits towards shaping the circular economy. Moreover, the partnership builds strong connections between stakeholders to co-design, co-create, and co-everything, which could further save resources; in turn, both partners could keep reflecting throughout the progress of partnerships so as to promote and implement the sustainable development more effectively and steadily. Furthermore, the transparency and dynamic communications between responsible stakeholders during the period of partnerships could contribute to legitimacy and foster trust between stakeholders and also with citizens, which could further combat the lack of trust and facilitate the implementation of sustainable development.

Echoing the core spirit of UN SDG17 Partnerships, as well as facing similar challenges, the UK representative in the EU emphasised many times during the conference that the UK is still an important part of EU on the sustainable way; similarly, Taiwan also should be a significant part of UN. Indeed, Taiwan and global partners all embrace great ideas and solutions to address the issues; hence together we could drive some fundamental changes to achieve the good and create a lasting legacy.

Looking back, during my study and work in the UK as well as attending seminars and conferences in European countries at that time, I always thought what Taiwan could learn from European partners and what Taiwan could contribute to the world. Personally, I thought UN SDGs are not only the shared vision of the world, but also a common language for countries around the world to communicate, collaborate, and co-thrive.

Nowadays, Taiwan always keeps endeavouring for sustainable development with global partners, bringing the completely new Mindset and the core spirit of partnership. On 21 AUG 2018, Taiwan government agencies, together with academic and research institutes, corporates, non-government organisations and other cross-domain interested parties, officially launched the Alliance for Sustainable Development Goals (A· SDGs), which provides a platform for domestic stakeholders and international partners to work together to promote and implement the sustainable development together.

In my humble opinion, the two-day conference provides a wonderful platform for all participants from different countries to meet up old and new friends in sustainability fields, which is also a great opportunity for Taiwan to keep learning and reflecting on the circular economy and beyond. Drawing on EU experience, the transformation towards a sustainable society should be addressed from very different perspectives especially considering people as the key player. In this regard, I strongly believe Taiwan and European partners could further find possible collaboration opportunities to shape the sustainable future for humanity together in the coming future.

On the basis of tremendous efforts by pioneers in sustainability issues, Taiwan would keep endeavouring with our global partners through active interactions as well as effective innovations, technologies and tools to share ideas and experience of sustainable development via multiple channels and then further contribute to the world - To Help UN Achieve Its Goals, Taiwan Can Help!