Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen at the Global Environmental Education Partnership Asia-Pacific Regional Center Opening Ceremony


December 3, 2019

Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen
Global Environmental Education Partnership
Asia-Pacific Regional Center Opening Ceremony
December 3, 2019

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Minister Chang, Deputy Director-General Chen, President Wang, Director Kasman, distinguished guests and friends, Tóngxuémen (同學們), dàjiā zǎo ān (大家早安), dàjiā hǎo (大家好)! Good morning! 

It is my great pleasure to join our partners from Taiwan and U.S. EPA this morning to open the Global Environmental Education Partnership (or GEEP) Asia-Pacific Regional Center in Taichung!

I would like to extend our appreciation to Minister Chang and his team, and the city of Taichung for their hard work in turning the original vision of Taiwan hosting a regional center for environmental education best practices into a reality.

Taiwan is correctly recognized among experts as one of the world’s most dedicated supporters of environmental education.  We can all learn from Taiwan in this area, including the United States and your neighbors in Asia.

The establishment of the GEEP Asia-Pacific Center is just the latest in a long line of successes and accomplishments over the decades of environmental cooperation between the United States and Taiwan.

I remember when I came to Taiwan for the first time many years ago.  It was a very different place than it is today.  From improved air and water quality to innovative recycling and waste management processes, Taiwan’s environmental transformation is due in part to the assistance and partnership provided through the years by U.S. EPA.

The U.S. and Taiwan EPAs have now taken their cooperation to the global stage.  Through the International Environmental Partnership, the United States and Taiwan have together shared our expertise on a wide range of topics, including air pollution, mercury monitoring, electronic waste management, law enforcement, and environmental education.

Taiwan’s successes in these areas have attracted many of your neighboring countries here to learn from you and your environmental achievements.

This year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and the American Institute in Taiwan.  Each month this year, we are highlighting a different aspect of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.  And we saved the best for last – December is Environment Month!

Over the last 40 years, the relationship between the United States and Taiwan has grown deeper and stronger.  I am proud of the work that we are doing to promote even closer people-to-people ties, which is one of my four key priorities as AIT Director.  Education is one of the best ways to bring people together.

As we bring the year of AIT@40 celebrations to an end, we look forward to the role this center will play in building U.S.-Taiwan relations in the years to come.

Thank you all for your contributions to making this center possible.  The work done here will help ensure a healthy and sustainable environment for present and future generations.

Ràng wǒmen yīqǐ tòuguò huánjìng jiàoyù lì wěn gēnjī (讓我們一起透過環境教育立穩根基),gòng chuàng wèilái (共創未來)! Xièxiè dàjiā! 謝謝大家!