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•Environmental education and awareness activities in GC network

Value Change Team travels to Taiwan

In an effort to further consolidate and secure new partnerships in the Asia Pacific region, the Value Change programme team travelled to Taiwan and Singapore. With a view to expand the Environmental Education programme and the Earth Dialogues,the team along with GC information office and the Environmental Quality Protection Fund (EQPF) conducted a series of lectures and forum sessions to discuss and share the Green Cross vision and experiences.

Among the several programmes implemented by EQPF, the recently concluded drawing competition saw more than 2000 children participating in 2009. An innovative audio-visual presentation with Climate Change as its central theme was used to inform young children on impacts and solutions in schools throughout Taiwan.
Over the past few years, issues emphasizing the impact of environmental endocrine disrupters have focused on a dozen persistent organic pollutants (POPs), namely dioxins, furans, endrin, aldrin, DDT, chlordane, dieldrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), mirex, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and toxaphene. Among these 12 POPs, nine are organochlorine pesticides. These chemicals exhibit resistance to biological, physical, and chemical breakdown processes in the environment and can accumulate in organisms. Furthermore, atmospheric transportation renders them global contaminants, and they can even be detected in the polar environments, as well as in organisms in these regions. POPs can alter the early development and normal reproductive, neurological, and immunological functions in humans as well as wildlife, resulting in adverse health effects and ecological disturbance. Some of the POPs were also classified as carcinogenic to humans.
In 1997, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was requested by different governments to convene negotiations of treaties to reduce and/or eliminate releases of POPs into the environment. At the same time, academic and governmental scientists and various environmental groups also suggested immediate actions by UNEP and others to address POPs problems. On 10 December 2000 in Johannesburg , South Africa , diplomats from 122 countries finalized the text of a legally binding treaty for POPs. The treaty is expected to be formally adopted and signed by plenipotentiaries at a diplomatic conference in Stockholm on 22 May 2001 . Although the whole processes for resolving the POPs problem via this commitment will still take several years, this is an important step for protecting our present and future generations and our ever fragile ecosystems from POPs.
Under the Taiwan Pesticide Control Act (TPCA), Taiwan banned from agricultural use organochlorine pesticide POPs consecutively from 1971. Starting in 1988, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (TEPA) listed the 10 of the 12 POPs (excluding dioxins and furans) as regulated toxic chemicals under the Taiwan Toxic Substances Control Act (TTSCA). Table 1 outlines the current statuses of the 10 POPs
in Taiwan . However, due to the persistency of these compounds and the quantity used during the early years, they are still prevalent in different environmental matrices, such as soil, sediment and biota, even though over 10 years have passed since the complete banning. Information regarding these toxic chemicals in our environment, as well as in the general population in Taiwan , is very limited and not up-to-date. Moreover, human exposure via different pathways, especially via ingestion of contaminated foods, and the associated risks have not been characterized. POPs management in Taiwan still has a long way to go. ………
Increasing population, agricultural activities and industrial development have made chemical pollution an issue of global concern. The chemical wastes from the society will eventually sink in the world ocean. Among these wastes, organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) have received increasing attention because of their extended use, long half-life time, high accumulation potential, harmful biological effects, and inevitable impacts to the environment. This global issue is significant to Taiwan because most Taiwan fisheries products were not locally produced; rather they were mainly imported. This might explain that despite the fact that OCPs were banned in Taiwan since the early 1970, public concern about trace OCPs in seafood is still prevailed.
The levels of polychlorinated dibenzo- p -dioxins (PCDD) and dibenzofurans (PCDF) in retail cows' milk in Taiwan is not available yet. Analytical data are needed to help evaluating the contribution of PCDD/DFs dietary intake from cows' milk. Milk and dairy products are becoming prevalent food for the Taiwanese. Dietary intake of cows' milk might become one of the major exposure routes of PCDD/DFs for the Taiwanese. The preliminary survey of PCDD/DFs levels in retail cows' milk in Taiwan is, therefore, carried out for the first time.
2001 列名的 123 國中,排名前五名的國家依序為芬蘭、挪威、加拿大、瑞典及瑞士;排名最低的五個國家分別是利比亞、衣索比亞、蒲隆地、沙烏地阿拉伯、及海地;而亞洲地區國家,排名最好的國家為日本,列居第 22 名。
至於 2002 年的 143 個國家中,前五國名次稍有 調整 ,依序為芬蘭、挪威、瑞典、加拿大、瑞士;後五名依序為沙烏地阿拉伯、伊拉克、北韓、阿拉伯聯合大公國、及科威特;亞洲分數最高的國家則是泰國,位居 54 名,日本在 2002 年排名中則退至第 78 名,下降幅度相當大。
事實上,從過去幾年的 ESI 排行來看,亞洲國家在 ESI 架構中的評比結果普遍不佳。除了我國環境永續性表現並不理想之外,與我國經濟條件類似的亞洲國家如南韓,在 ESI 2001 及 ESI 2002 排名中亦位於相當殿後的名次,分別為第 96 與第 119 名。此外,如日本這樣被一般人認為在 環境保護 方面相當有績效的國家, ESI 排名也不盡理想。顯示亞洲國家在 ESI 環境永續性指標系統的評比之中,相對上較為弱勢
今年是「國際水資源日」的十週年紀念,也是聯合國公告的國際淡水年(Year of fresh water)。根據世界衛生組織(WHO)等國際機構的估計,在西元2000年時,世界上約三十個國家中,佔世界約20%的人口,面臨缺水問題,而到了2025年時,面臨缺水問題者將分佈在五十個國家中,總人口數將佔全世界的30%。
台灣的居民,近年來已逐漸感受到缺水與限水的壓力。雖然台灣的年平均雨量高達2,512 mm,但以每人每年可用水資源量來看,根據聯合國的定義,我國的確屬於相當缺水的國家。然而,由世界性的觀點來看,台灣的缺水情形究竟有多嚴重?其相關聯的經濟、社會、環境等各種因素究竟為何?是相當值得我們瞭解與關切的議題。
台北辦公室 TEL:(02)2321-1155 FAX:(02)2321-1120 E-MAIL:info.eqpf@msa.hinet.net  地址:10641台北市大安區信義路2段88號6樓之1
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