EPA chief arrives in Palau for Our Oceans conference

Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) arrived in Palau on Tuesday to attend a conference on marine ecology and meet with the president of the Pacific island country .

Leading a delegation of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Coast Guard Administration and the Maritime Affairs Council, Chang was met at the airport by Palau’s Minister of State Gustav Aitaro, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.

The delegation was then received by Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr at the Presidential Office.

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of China in Palau

Whipps said Palau and Taiwan have done their best to promote marine conservation and sustainable development, thanking Taiwan for helping his country host the two-day conference on our oceans today and tomorrow.

The annual event, which has taken place since 2014 but was not convened in 2020 and last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to take concrete and meaningful action to protect the ocean.

In addition to meeting Palauan officials and attending a reception banquet hosted by conference co-hosts Palau and the United States, Chang also opened a Taiwan-hosted exhibition in Palau on Tuesday, the statement said.

The exhibit, titled “Towards a Zero Emission and Zero Waste Future,” showcases Taiwan’s efforts in marine conservation, marine safety and marine litter recycling for conference attendees, which drew delegations from about 80 countries.

Chang was scheduled to deliver a speech on the opening day focusing on Taiwan’s efforts to combat marine pollution, the ministry said.

It would be the first time for Taiwan to attend the conference in an official capacity, according to the statement.

Taiwan’s official participation in past events, held in Norway, Indonesia, Chile, Malta and the United States, has been regularly challenged by China, forcing Taiwanese EPA ministers to participate in their personal capacity.

This year, Taiwan took advantage of the fact that host Palau was one of its diplomatic allies and China was not present.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. The final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.