Tue, Jun 12, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Local NGOs to send 15 representatives to Rio+20

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Environmental activists hold a press conference in Taipei yesterday to announce that they will form a delegation of 15 representatives to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development that will begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday next week.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Non-governmental organizations (NGO) yesterday said they would send a team of 15 representatives to attend the UN’s upcoming Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development — also known as Rio Earth Summit 2012 — in Brazil, to exchange knowledge on green economy and the institutional framework for sustainable development with the world.

Although Taiwan is not a member state of the UN, the Taiwan Action NGOs (TANGO) — an association of eight Taiwanese NGOs that is concerned with environmental issues — said they would head to Rio de Janeiro as civic participants tomorrow to interact with more than 150 civic groups from around the world.

TANGO team leader and Taiwan Environmental Protection Union president Juju Wang (王俊秀) said at a press conference that the meaning of “green economy” had been simplified as green energy and carbon reduction by the government, which he said is a clear misunderstanding, and so TANGO’s main goal is to bring back experience and knowledge from other countries.

Wang said the team would also present environmental issues on agriculture, food safety, community development and other aspects, as well as introduce the 22 endemic species of wild birds in Taiwan to other countries.

At the press conference, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said many people outside the country have the impression that Taiwanese are good at doing business and that many products are made from factories in Taiwan, but the importance of TANGO’s participation is to show the world that there are also many people who are making efforts to protect Taiwan’s environment and be responsible members of the global community.

“We hope to learn how other countries deal with environmental issues at a community level, such as the problematic use of toxic furnace bottom ash,” TANGO member and Tainan Community University instructor Lin Yuan-li (林元笠) said, adding that “voices from communities are more direct, without the information being screened by the governments in advance.”

Another attending member, lead vocalist Chiang Yu-ta (江育達) of the band The Village Armed Youth (農村武裝青年) sang a song called Formosa Etude at the press conference and said that aside from being seen at the exhibition stand, he hopes Taiwan’s voice can also be heard by the rest of the world.

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