NPUST Hosts First International Sustainable Development Conference (ISDC 2020)
On November 27th, NPUST hosted the First International Sustainable Development Conference (ISDC 2020). The grand affair, which coincided with the university’s 96th anniversary celebration, brought together distinguished representatives from government, business and academia to explore “Our Common Future”.
Ambassadors and foreign representatives from Papua New Guinea, Eswatini, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Palau, Marshall Islands, Vietnam and Belize were among the guests of honor.
NPUST President Chang-Hsien Tai, in his address, expressed that “the theme of the conference is one that NPUST is consistently emphasizing. Through smart technology, the goal is to promote development that is environmentally friendly—it is a rare opportunity to discuss cooperation with international professionals from a variety of different fields and find a path to the future that is sustainable for humanity and the environment”. Palau’s Ambassador to Taiwan, Dilmei L. Olkeriil stated that it is both “our business and our duty” to pursue the theme of the conference and address our common future through Sustainable Development. The ambassador shared on some of the actions that have been taken in her country, explaining that Palau is the first country to have established a marine sanctuary –the area of which is comparable to the State of Texas.
The first Keynote Speaker, Former Minister of the Taiwan Council of Agriculture and Former Magistrate of Pingtung County, Mr. Chi-hung Tsao, presented on land subsidence and sea level rise. Minister Tsao explained how water extraction in Pingtung has resulted in land subsidence. He then introduced the attendees to the world’s largest man-made underground aquifer project, which is being created in Chaozhou to recharge underground water reserves.
Dr. Kensuke Fukushi, the second Keynote speaker, is the Academic Director for the Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability at the United Nations University. Fukushi shared on “sustainable water management systems for the resilience of the regional economy” and broke down water use by the various segments of society while reviewing cost-benefit considerations. Ultimately, he concluded, “all stakeholders should share the profit; and share the responsibility”.
The third speaker, Miss Shan-shan Guo, is Chief Brand Officer of Delta Electronics and Vice-Chairman of Delta Electronics Foundation. In her talk, she presented on areas in which Delta is working to promote development and apply technology oriented towards sustainable development. Delta is the world number 1 producer of “switching power supplies” and has been focusing on ‘Green’ buildings. With 27 in place already, two of their notable ones include the Delta America headquarters and the Namaxia Ming Chuan Elementary School, both of which are “net zero”.
Following the Keynote Speeches, the conference transitioned to the Policy-Science Linkage Session, which brought together government officials involved in sustainable development related policy in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea. With many years of policy experience, the officials help to shed light on some of the ways academic research manifests itself in the real-world policies implemented by various agencies.
As Taiwan’s “greenest” university for six years standing, NPUST has been investing a great deal of time and energy into research that emphasizes sustainability. For this reason, the ISDC 2020, was, in essence, a natural product of the university’s own philosophy – to bring together professionals from different countries, different backgrounds and different areas of expertise to pursue a common goal; a pursuit of the idea that “together, we can help”.