EQPF works to empower people to create change from the ground up. When people have access the right information and tools they can create positive change.
While the chemical industry plays an important role in our society today, many chemicals are synthesized and released without adequate research into their long-term effects. This can lead to disastrous problems for human health and the environment.
To encourage our government to take a more aggressive stance and restrict these chemicals, we have issued this list of five areas for change:
1. The government must revise the Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act to increase transparency. The current law (article 4) allows business secrets to remain confidential, but this section should be removed so that consumers can make better-informed choices.
2. The toxicity of phthalates and bisphenol should be listed as class 2 (currently class 4) chemicals, restricting their use. Immediate action must be taken to reduce exposure to these toxic substances.
3. The government should create industry standards on these chemicals and enshrine them in law.
4. Relevant authorities should create a national environmental hormone program with a clear mandate. It should include an assessment plan to manage long-term risks. Authorities should regularly audit, sample and monitor environmental hormone levels in household products and encourage suppliers to produce toxin-free products. There is also a need for a long-term plan to educate consumers and encourage them to avoid these toxic chemicals.
5. Authorities should actively promote toxin-free hospitals and provide options for non-PVC medical devices. Private and public hospitals should publish environmental hormone exposure levels.
Road Free Forest
Taiwan's road network forms a dense web running throughout the island. The government of Taiwan has built roads through forest and mountain areas, to promote development, facilitate tourism and meet the needs of local people. Internationally, 95% of forest destruction has occurred within 15 kilometres of roads. The loss of such valuable habitats can be harmful for biodiversity.
EQPF research shows that a sustainable balance between conservation and utilization is possible. To maintain this balance in our forests, strong laws must be implemented. The state has a duty to ensure that our forests are not endangered by overdevelopment. In light of this, EQPF has initiated a program to advocate for road-free forests. Those efforts have already garnered international attention.
Taiwan has hillside forest conservation regulations. Trees in national forests cannot be cut for logging or general development, but roads are granted an exception.
On February 26th, 2014, the premier of Taiwan informed the Ministry of Transportation, Council of Agriculture, and Council of Indigenous Peoples that in accordance with the principles of safety, symbiosis and sustainability, construction of 3 mountain roads with an altitude of more than 1500 meters would be canceled. This directive now extents to 6 mountain roads, and the number of forest roads has been reduced from 285 to 82. The initiative will continue into the future.
Green New Year's Eve
With the current rise of environmental awareness, we must reconsider how we ring in the New Year. There are sustainable ways to celebrate, ones which reduce environmental impact. People can enjoy themselves while contributing to the green economy.
Making the New Year's Eve a sustainable celebration.
To reduce the carbon footprint of New Year’s Eve activities and to carry out carbon offsetting measures, we all have responsibilities and obligations in paying attention to the impacts of our actions on the environment.
We created an online campaign to remember these tips for a sustainable new year:
--Get to the site quickly by taking public transit
--Take 5 tools: a smartphone instead of glow sticks, chopsticks, a cup, a bag, and a picnic blanket
--Stay at home instead of going out
New Environment Movement
In order to promote awareness of climate change and promote a low-carbon lifestyle, in 2013 EQPF sponsored a 23-day, nearly 1000 km run. Five students from Dong Hwa University and their coach covered Taiwan’s entire circumference, working their way down the West coast from Taipei and returning along the East coast.
Over the course of their journey, the participants lived a sustainable lifestyle, bringing reusable water bottles and utensils, washing clothes by hand and reusing bags.
Many people today need to be reminded of their effect on the Environment. Programs such as the Run for the Climate can rekindle passion for people who have forgotten. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are close to the important milestone of 400 parts per million. It is crucial to move towards a low carbon lifestyle now.