The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the EU Member States offices in Taiwan, and the EU Centre in Taiwan jointly cleaned the Wanlin beachside in New Taipei City. Led by the EU Representative Filip Grzegorzewski, EPA Minister Chang Tzi-Chin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Tseng, and Representatives and Deputy Representatives of the EU Member States in Taiwan, the event gathered nearly 200 staff and family members of the European and Taiwanese offices, and collected over 440 kg of waste. This year, due to the COVID19 pandemic, Taiwan was among the very few places where the EU delegations worldwide could host a physical cleanup event.
Ocean is a source of life, a cradle of biodiversity, and it acts as a climate regulator. The EU is determined in promoting a healthy and sustainable ocean, said the EETO Head Filip Grzegorzewski. Not only does it serve the EU’s response to the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on the oceans (SDG 14), it is in line with the EU Green Deal – the EU’s roadmap to achieve climate neutral in 2050. The European Union will continue to work with global partners to promote sustainable international ocean governance, said Grzegorzewski.
Every year from September to November, around the time of the International Coastal Cleanup Day (third Saturday in September), the EU mobilises its delegations around the world to organise beach cleanup or river cleanup activities. In 2019, over 40,000 volunteers joined the near-80 delegations worldwide in their cleanup actions. This year, due to the pandemic, Taiwan was among the two-dozen places in the world that could organise a physical event.
Meanwhile, the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) and the Taipei European School (TES) also cleaned the beach at Baishawan the same morning. The event was attended by over 400 people and collected 600 kg of waste. Mr. Grzegorzewski was very delighted to see the European community in Taiwan actively participating in environmental initiatives. He also called on every one to combat marine waste from the source - by using less and recycling more - for every small individual step taken collectively would become a big step for the earth.
The 13 EU Member States present today were Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, and Spain.