MOFA Deputy Minister Wu Chih-chung (second left) and Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (center) are joined by participants in giving their thumbs-up to the 2017 UNFCCC NGO Forum Sept. 28 in the central Taiwan city. (Courtesy of Taichung City Government)

A forum promoting exchanges between locally based nongovernmental organizations and their international counterparts on the sidelines of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change wrapped up Sept. 28 in central Taiwan’s Taichung City.

Organized by the city government with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the one-day event underscored the nation’s commitment to enhancing awareness of the impacts of climate change. Participants included around 400 academics, experts, NGO representatives, officials and students from Taiwan and nine other countries.

Themed Livable Cities toward Sustainable Development, the event focused on low-carbon sustainable food systems, international NGO and local government partnerships, U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and urban climate change mitigation, among other issues.

The forum featured keynote speeches by Langston James Goree VI, vice president of Canada-based International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Senator Parlindungan Purba of Indonesia. A total of 19 experts also shared related practices adopted by cities and NGOs in Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the U.K. and Vietnam.

In his opening address, MOFA Deputy Minister Wu Chih-chung said climate change knows no boundaries, citing the severe damage wrought by Hurricane Irma earlier in the month in the Southern U.S. and neighboring countries.

While Taiwan is not a party to the UNFCCC, Wu said the country is committed to joining the international community in its fight against global warming.

Recent examples of government efforts in this regard include the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act promulgated in July 2015 and the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions published two months later.

Another milestone development was the release Sept. 15 this year in New York City of Taiwan’s first Voluntary National Review, which details government measures to advance the 17 goals in the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Wu said he hopes the event will help better connect local NGOs to the world while promoting public understanding of the importance of carbon emissions reduction, clean energy and sustainable city development.

Held annually since 2013, the forum serves as a major platform to boost Taiwan’s global visibility and promote the country’s participation in the U.N. convention, according to the MOFA.

Source: Taiwan Today