July 7, 2021
Remarks by former AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene
for the Virtual 2021 Ocean Challenge Event
July 7, 2021
Deputy Minister Tsai, Mr. Ou Yang, Dr. Pendleton, distinguished guests and judges, student participants: good morning.
Today marks the third Ocean Challenge event, a joint effort between AIT and the Ocean Affairs Council. I would like to thank the OAC for their continued partnership and support for this important youth-focused endeavor. This year’s Ocean Challenge is bitter-sweet for me for two reasons. First, I was hoping to join all of you in person and listen first-hand to your creative proposals for addressing some of the most serious problems facing our oceans. It is unfortunate that the outbreak of domestic COVID cases has kept us from gathering together in person, but I am proud of our ability to quickly respond and switch to a virtual format to ensure the event can move forward with participation from all our original teams. The second reason that today’s event is bitter-sweet for me, is that this will be my last opportunity to take part in the Ocean Challenge event before I conclude my amazing tour in Taiwan.
I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished with this event and how much it has grown each year. What began in 2019 as a competition for southern-based high-school teams has grown into an annual Taiwan-wide event that for the first time this year, will also include participation from college student teams. I am extremely excited to hear how this great event will continue to develop in future years.
The purpose of the Ocean Challenge is to raise awareness among Taiwan’s youth of the critical issues confronting our oceans. We want to inspire the next generation to think critically about these serious and complex problems. By doing this, the Ocean Challenge allows us to leverage one of Taiwan’s greatest national resources – its talented, innovative youth, to help protect one of the world’s greatest national resources – our oceans.
To the students participating in today’s competition, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your enthusiasm and your willingness to get involved. I hope your participation in the Ocean Challenge has sparked even greater interest in the environment and in our collective stewardship of this planet.
Now I would like to talk a little about the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. The United States and Taiwan have come a long way together over the past four decades as Taiwan developed into both a hi-tech economic powerhouse and a highly successful liberal democracy. As a result, we have come to share so many values, including respect for the rule of law, a commitment to free and fair trade, and support for civil liberties, at home and around the world.
Our shared values also include our shared desire to preserve our planet for future generations by conserving our natural resources, creating innovative economic models and new jobs, and reducing harmful emissions. We at AIT look forward to continuing to work with the OAC to support the Ocean Challenge and other events that help us achieve our common goals on environmental protection.
Again, thank you Deputy Minister Tsai and our partners at OAC and Brogent. And thank you for all the students who are participating in today’s challenge. I encourage all of you to continue seizing opportunities like this one today, to showcase your creativity and to learn how you can make a difference.