Taiwan should expedite the passage of two bills to address climate change and ocean conservation, the Environmental Justice Foundation and Greenpeace said yesterday in a joint statement.
“We also ask lawmakers to include input from indigenous people when they deliberate over the proposed ‘climate change adaptation act’ and ‘ocean conservation act,’ as appropriate policies could only be delivered by considering how climate change poses different challenges to different ethnic groups,” the groups said.
A “human rights impact assessment mechanism” should be in all subsequent legislative reviews of the climate change adaptation bill, they added.
The groups urged lawmakers to pass the bills and highlighted the importance of fighting climate injustice as the world observes World Oceans Day today.
Last month, lawmakers from six legislative committees jointly reviewed the climate change adaptation bill, and the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee on May 16 reviewed the ocean conservation draft act.
“We believe that lawmakers still ignored nature-based solutions when they deliberated over the climate change adaptation draft act. Their discussions over the ocean conservation draft also lacked the understanding of how protecting and recovering the marine ecosystem can stabilize the climate as well,” the groups said.
The UN Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in its Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change that more than 30 percent of the Earth’s area needs to be protected to maintain the important role of natural ecosystems in climate resilience, the groups said.
The Glasgow Climate Pact, produced at last year’s COP26 summit on climate change, noted “the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including forests, oceans and the cryosphere, and protecting biodiversity,” they said.
A study by the US Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration showed that coastal blue carbon ecosystems are three to five times more efficient in carbon sequestration than tropical forests, and contribute significantly to removing carbon from the atmosphere, the groups said.
Over the past few years, countries worldwide have increasingly recognized the importance of the ocean as a climate solution, they said.
Sixty countries, including South Korea and Singapore, have included protection of marine ecosystems as a goal to address climate change, the groups said.
“Conserving marine ecosystems is also a necessary measure to prevent carbon emissions. The carbon-absorbing function of seagrass ecosystems, for example, decreases significantly when it is disrupted by human behaviors. Instead, the ecosystems may turn into high-intensity carbon emission sources,” they said.
Offshore wind power or ocean energy might cause even greater carbon emissions and irreversible damage to marine ecosystems if their effects are not scientifically investigated and assessed, they said.
“We believe that the function of oceans to militate and help us adapt to climate change should be recognized in the draft act on climate change, but the mitigation and adaptation to the climate change should be regarded as the goal of marine conservation and restoration in the draft act on ocean conservation,” the groups said.
The Legislative Yuan should pass the ocean conservation bill as soon as possible, which would authorize the government to establish a complete scientific monitoring mechanism for the marine environment, they said.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
Taiwan and the US on Friday celebrated the second anniversary of a language education initiative that aims to encourage more Americans to learn Mandarin at Taiwanese study centers as China’s language and cultural centers close across the US. “Over the past two years, we have significantly increased Mandarin and English language learning and exchange opportunities. Here’s to the future!” the US Department of State’ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs wrote on Twitter. Attached to the post was a graphic that showed that the number of US students in the bureau’s exchange programs in Taiwan has increased to about 130 from 90