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Press Release

AIT Commemorates Earth Day 1997

April 22, celebrated around the world as Earth Day '97, is a day to reflect on our commitment to the preservation of this planet's environment for our children and future generations. The United States takes environmental protection very seriously as it affects our nation's natural resources, the health and prosperity of our citizens and the well-being of our economy. The United States is equally concerned about the global environment and has played a key role in making sustainable development a realizable goal.

In commemoration of Earth Day '97, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is improving its recycling efforts with a goal of 100% recycling of paper, cans, bottles and other materials. AIT's efforts are by no means limited to recycling. AIT has worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States-Asia Environmental Partnership Program (USAEP) and the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (TEPA) since 1993 to promote the exchange of environmental technology from the U.S. to Taiwan.

In addition, USAEP has worked with both TEPA and the Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) to help Taiwan's environment and industries. Over the last four years, this program has been responsible for 35 environmental missions between the U.S. and Taiwan. These exchanges involve industry leaders, agency officials and academics working together to learn U.S. cleaner production methods.

USAEP activities so far in 1997 include an IDB-USAEP training course on cleaner production in the pulp and paper industry, a TEPA-USAEP conference on abandoned hazardous waste sites and the recent Enprotech Trade show. Future events this year will include a conference on the U.S. Green Lights program, an environmental trade mission from California, and the Asian Waste Minimization Conference in December.

AIT has also sponsored a number of other programs with the goal of improving cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan in the environmental field. In 1996, AIT invited one NGO and one academic leader from Taiwan on a thirty-day study tour of the U.S. focusing on sustainable development. AIT's American Resources Center regularly makes environmental information available through library outreach and our home page, which is located at AIT sponsored a three-year cooperative project between National Kaohsiung Institute of Marine Technology and the University of Connecticut for monitoring of water quality in Kaohsiung harbor. In the coming year, AIT and the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange will host a U.S. Fulbright professor in Taiwan whose specialty is watershed management.