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The Green Initiative of Universities - Press Conference of Talloires Declaration

The Green Initiative of Universities - Press Conference of Talloires Declaration

On June 5th before the World Environment Day, Ministry of Education held the Press Conference of Talloires Declaration with the sponsorship of the Chinese Society for Environmental Education. Political Deputy Minister, Lu Mu-lin, and thirteen principals of model "green" colleges and universities were invited to the press conference to sign the declaration in order to demonstrate the determination of the Ministry of Education and the participating schools to create green and sustainable campuses with low carbon emissions.

Director of Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF), Wynn Calder, expressed his congratulations in writing and a speech. It is hoped that colleges and universities in Taiwan will work with approximately four hundred schools which have already signed the declaration to bring sustainability to campuses.

A "Green University" is one that applies the concept of sustainable development in all its activities. Many universities around the world are now developing in this direction. Environmental issues such as global warming have become a focus of the international society. In 2007, more than one hundred universities and academic departments in the U.S. signed the Climate Commitment, highlighting the importance of fighting global warming.

Recently, the Ministry of Education has been committed to promoting sustainable campuses and has seen positive results. In 2007, Ministry of Education announced the policies of conserving energy and reducing carbon emissions in colleges and universities. Ministry of Education formally initiated the "Green University" program in Taiwan in 2007, in the hope that new resources and facilities will create environment-friendly campuses with low carbon emissions.

The newly-selected thirteen model schools for the Green University Initiative play a leading role in environmental administration, environmental education, and action implementation. During the process of promoting green universities, each model school should take comprehensive responsibilities in academic affairs, general affairs, and student affairs to assist neighboring or similar colleges and universities to integrate with the world.

The Talloires Declaration was initiated by more than twenty principals and presidents of colleges and universities in Europe and the U.S. The declaration states that, in addition to being responsible for the sustainable development of higher education, the administration level should also mobilize internal and external resources to meet potential challenges.

With the constant development of the declaration, Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) was established. According to the official website ( the association, a total of 388 principals of colleges and universities signed the declaration as of March 2009. In Taiwan, National Kaohsiung University and National Kaohsiung Normal University signed in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

The thirteen model schools are: National Chung Cheng University, Yuan Ze University, Taipei Medical University, National Kaohsiung University, Ching Yun University, Chaoyang University of Technology, National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Tzu Chi University, I-Shou University, National Chiayi University, National Chi Nan University, National Tainan University, and National Taiwan Normal University.

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