Showing the Endurance of Youths Promoting Environmental Education! The Republic of China (R.O.C. Taiwan) and the United States Youths Promoting Environmental Education Independently Held the Online “2021 Talking about Environmental Education Annual Meeting”
In 2018 and 2019, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency cooperated to promote the “International Student Conservation Leadership Summit”. A total of 28 student representatives from the R.O.C. (Taiwan) senior and vocational high schools were selected for exchanges in San Diego, USA. On July 7, 2021, the returned student representatives independently held an online “2021 Talking about Environmental Education Annual Meeting”, continuing to show the enthusiasm and endurance of youths promoting environmental education.
The MOE’s “International Student Conservation Leadership Summit” exchange courses focused on ocean and water resources, exploring coastal pollution and global warming, and cultivating students’ environmental sustainability, foreign language abilities, and multicultural literacy. After two years of environmental education, the youths returned to the R.O.C. (Taiwan), and not only actively promoted the importance of environmental sustainability inside and outside their schools, but due to their new-found altruistic values and sense of mission, performed more positively in their academic work. Of these students, 25% are studying in foreign colleges and universities after graduation, and about 71% are studying in domestic national colleges and universities, and looking forward to continuing to exert their influence at university level.
Due to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, for the past two years, the “International Student Conservation Leadership Summit” has been suspended. However, the first and second summit youths promoting environmental education leadership independently called on members to organize the “International Student Conservation Leadership Summit Association”. Chen Jiawei, the general coordinator of the association who studies at the Department of Oceanography of National Sun Yat-sen University said, “For the 28 students, participating in the MOE International Student Conservation Leadership Summit was an important turning point in our lives. I was deeply inspired by participating in this camp, so I chose to study at the Department of Oceanography.” In addition, he also said, “Everyone really hopes that we can continue to exert our appeal to expand environmental education. With this consensus, this association has been established.”
For the “2021 Talking about Environmental Education Annual Meeting”, in addition to the participation of the youths promoting environmental education, special invitee Chih-chang Kao from the Department of Information and Technology Education of the MOE, the host of the Leadership Summit, Professor Chin-fei Huang from National Kaohsiung Normal University, the co-host, Professor Yi-hsuan Hsu of the Chinese Society for Environmental Education and lecturer Ya-ling Chang participated in the entire meeting and provided feedback and suggestions for each topic. Through online seminars it was also arranged that first-year youth promoting environmental education, Kuo-yuan Tsai, would share the experience of participating in sustainable development education practices in Armenia. Chi-ting Tsai shared his experience of promoting the concept of environmental conservation with international students at New York University Abu Dhabi. In addition, second-year youth promoting environmental education Yu-shen Yen, shared the idea of co-promoting environmental education at National Taiwan University.
At the end of the annual meeting, the teachers and students participating in the meeting prayed for a quick end to the epidemic, and looked forward to the continued future implementation of the “International Student Conservation Leadership Summit” to cultivate a new generation of environmental education youths. Chih-chang Kao, the section chief of the MOE, once again encouraged the youths promoting environmental education to emphasize the diverse situations of international sustainable development and understand the core spirit and future development potential of ESG (Environment, Social and Governance). It is expected that through the constant energy of youth, the “International Student Conservation Leadership Summit Association” will continue to be conducted, turning the earth towards sustainable development.