EPA Minister Lee Ying-yuan outlines Taiwan’s progress in implementing the SDGs during a seminar Sept. 15 in New York City. (Courtesy of EPA)

The Republic of China (Taiwan) released its Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Sept. 15 in New York City, underscoring the country’s commitment to joining global efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequality, tackle climate change and ensure that no one is left behind.

Unveiled by Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan, the report details the government’s measures to advance the 17 goals in the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Taiwan’s enforcement mechanisms, implementation achievements and related international collaborative experiences.

Lee highlighted in his address several policies coming into effect from Jan. 1 next year, including a ban on the production of all skin care products containing microbeads and expanded restrictions on the provision of free plastic shopping bags. These regulations, which have drawn praise from the international community, spotlight the country’s efforts to continuously strengthen environmental protection, he said.

Taiwan’s private sector is also making notable contributions through fostering investment and innovation in green technology, the minister said. He cited by way of example a major plastic bottle recycling system set up by Taiwan expatriate Hung Ching-ling in Romania, as well as the efforts of Taipei City-based Miniwiz Co. Ltd., which has garnered international recognition for its groundbreaking approach to industrial grade recycling.

According to the EPA, Taiwan fares well in comparison to major Western nations in SDG implementation, and outperforms many of them in areas including access to safely managed sanitation services, female political participation, poverty prevention and the provision of universal education and health care.

The minister said the government will continue to monitor the progress of related measures, with top priority being given to climate change adaption and mitigation strategies. As President Tsai Ing-wen stated during her inaugural address in May 2016, Taiwan will shoulder its responsibility as a global stakeholder and fulfill the nation’s carbon reduction goals, he added.

Lee unveiled the report at an international seminar on the implementation of the SDGs. Jointly organized by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, Global Island Partnership, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University and Permanent Mission of Solomon Islands to the U.N., the event was attended by more than 150 scholars and nongovernmental organization representatives.

As part of the country’s SDG efforts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the government is also working to promote global partnerships and assist other countries in areas including agriculture, education, environmental protection, information and communication technology and public health.

Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, the SDGs are intended to end poverty, protect the environment, and secure peace and prosperity around the world. The 17 goals comprise 169 targets across such fields as affordable and clean energy, climate action, gender equality, health and well-being, and sustainable cities.

Source: Taiwan Today