The Ocean Affairs Council, in collaboration with the National Development Council and the American Institute in Taiwan Kaohsiung Branch Office, has launched a series of youth-oriented events in an attempt to promote ocean literacy, marine science, and bilingual education. One of its series events "Youth Dialogue with Ocean Affairs Council" took place at the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park on April 24, with the goal of advancing ocean governance and education towards the objectives of "technologization, internationalization, and citizenship." The event aims to strengthen Taiwanese young adults’ communication and connection with the international community. It also raises young people’s awareness of ocean issues and further mobilizes them to come up with solutions through teamwork and mutual learning.
252 applicants hailing from 22 countries teamed up and submitted 62 proposals for Ocean Challenge this year. 23 finalist teams participating in the Youth Dialogue event stood out among a great number of competitors and were recommended to proceed to the final round. Bi-Ling Kuan, Minister of Ocean Affairs Council, said in her remarks that she is impressed and pleased to see that young people adopt a proactive attitude towards the ocean and the environment we live in. Minister Kuan also urged her administration to provide the most feasible proposal with support and resources to the maximum, enabling innovative teams to enhance their efficiency through the public-private partnership.
Minister Kuan also mentioned that the challenges the ocean is facing are complex and diverse, ranging across the environment, technology, pollution, conservation, scientific research, and fisheries. Therefore, a sound legal framework for the ocean is necessary for our continued efforts in ocean affairs. The Ocean Affairs Council is committed to driving this process forward. For example, the Interior Committee of the Legislative Yuan just reviewed the draft amendments to the "Marine Pollution Control Act" and the "Use of Coast Guard Equipment Act," giving the Ocean Affairs Council greater management efficiency over the marine environment and ensuring that marine law enforcement officers can exercise their public powers without any worries. However, protecting our ocean and resources requires the joint efforts of both the public and private sectors. While the government is gradually implementing ocean policies through legal construction, civic engagement and creativity are needed to maximize the benefits of collective wisdom, and the power of youth is an integral part of this process.
“Young generations are the most creative and courageous group of people who are willing to try new things. Your creative ideas have shown us that young people can think outside the box and are brave enough to challenge problems. I hope that in the future, each one of you can continue to innovate with your creative spirit and use your great minds to come up with new solutions to the challenges we face.” Kuan added.