MOST Vice Minister Tsou Yu-han (first row, fifth left) is joined by experts and officials from home and abroad at the opening of an international conference on disaster mitigation and earth sciences June 10 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of Academia Sinica)
The Promoting International Collaboration of Earth Sciences and Smart Disaster Reduction in Southeast Asia conference wrapped up June 10 in Taipei City, strengthening regional cooperation across such areas as environmental adaption and risk assessment.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the one-day seminar was co-organized by Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s foremost research institution. It drew 37 officials and scholars from nine Asia-Pacific countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand and Thailand.
Among the keynote speakers were Chen Yue-gau, geosciences professor at National Taiwan University in Taipei; Renato Solidum Jr., undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change at the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology; and Mark Stirling, geology professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, MOST Vice Minister Tsou Yu-han said that robust international cooperation on disaster reduction is essential for nations situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Taiwan has considerable expertise in mitigating the impacts of events such as earthquakes and typhoons and is committed to sharing its knowledge with neighboring countries, she said.
According to Academia Sinica, the conference was held under a four-year program launched by the MOST last year to facilitate collaboration among New Southbound Policy target nations on intelligent solutions for natural disaster prevention and earth sciences R&D. To date, a total of 11 international meetings and workshops have been staged through the initiative.
A key plank in the government’s national development policy, the NSP is enhancing Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade relations with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand. (CPY-E)