The American Institute in Taiwan Kaohsiung Branch Office (AIT/K) and the Ocean Affairs Council (OAC) are co-sponsoring the Ocean Challenge 2021 focused on challenges confronting oceans worldwide. Dec. 15, OAC cooperated with AIT/K to hold dialogue with university and high school Students, which got youth in Taiwan involved in solving our marine environment challenges and finding out solutions to the pressing ocean problems around the globe.
Deputy Minister of OAC, Tsai, Ching-Piao indicated, AIT and OAC holds the 3rd Ocean Challenge event. And this time includes college students in addition to high school students in Taiwan. The growth of the event can be seen and the substantial progress of the event can be felt. As for recent ocean affairs, he shared with the participants in both domestic and international arenas. In domestic governance, the government of this Administration is making a series of policies entitled “Salute to the Ocean”. Furthermore, in this year of 2020 the Ocean Affairs Council announced the National Ocean Policy White Paper. They want to build a wonderful maritime nation with excellent ecosystems, safety and prosperity.
In international scenarios, in addition to the Sustainable Development Goal or SDG number 14, which declares “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”, the United Nations also proclaimed “Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development” starting next year from 2021 to 2030. The decade is also the decade for all the young participants here. He hopes the students will have broader ocean science explorations full with actions, creations and applications.
The participants are the students of 10 finalist teams of Ocean Challenge 2021 from Ming Chuan University, joint team of Soochow University and National Kaohsiung Normal University, Chang Jung Christian University, Taipei Municipal Jingmei Girls' High School, International Bilingual School at Tainan Science Park, The Affiliated Senior High School of National Kaohsiung Normal University, National Feng-Shan Senior High School, National Ping Tung Industrial Vocational High School, and International Bilingual School at Hsinchu Science Park. They shared the motivation of attending this event and the submitted ideas on topics.
The team leaders indicate, most students realize the problem of marine debris, over fishing, climate change, coral bleaching, fishing gears, and so on. And they are passionate about swimming, surfing, free diving, sea turtle recovery, and beach cleanup activities. The students realize their responsibilities, so they know that using ocean science to solve the crises and challenges of the ocean deserve their priority attention.
It was hard to think of a proposal that is feasible, creative, and innovative. Although it was not as easy as it seemed, but the student teams are willing to work with OAC and AIT together for sustainable development of the ocean.
The 10 finalist teams have been invited to the ocean challenge 2021 held next year at Brogent Technologies, Inc., where students will present their proposals to a panel of experts. The judges will select the top three winners who will win cash prizes and certificates as well as a free i-Ride on Brogent's “Fly Over Kaohsiung” attraction. If you are interested in attending the Forum, please register online next year.