Caring for the Environment and Ecology; Establishing Low-Carbon Structure New Cities

[Report by Huang Shihting] On the afternoon of May 15, the Planning Office of Dharma Drum University (DDU) invited Deng Jiaji, Director of the Environmental Protecting Bureau of the New Taipei City, to Degui Academy to give speeches on “Addressing the Environmental Disasters of the Northern Coast Area” and “Environmental Protection and Low Carbon﹘a City’s Strength from Environment and Competitive Power” The Director also exchanged opinions with the faculty and staff of the planning office. This activity, hosted and unveiled by Yu Youhua, Dean of DDU’s School of Environmental Studies, is one of the lecture series of the “Jinshan Project.”

During the speech, the Director discussed the attitude towards the disasters, stressing in particular the concept of “precaution instead of healing, and preventive measures instead of disaster reduction.” He further pointed out that the natural catastrophes that occurred frequently in recent years are mostly related to climate change, and that the abnormal change of climate, whether global or regional, all shows that this problem is getting increasingly devastating. It is no longer an issue that can be ignored or escaped from. As a result, although disaster prevention and relief are important, the reorientation of city development is an even more important way to address the issue.

The Director pointed out that, facing climate change, the cities should begin to work on the “low carbon structure.” He also introduced five major frameworks for establishing green, low-carbon cities, including “green energies,” “recyclable resources,” “sustainable living environment,” “green transportation,” and “green buildings.” He proposed to proceed onto these five aspects progressively, pay attention to the environmental context, integrate the local character, and develop step by step the measures and strategies for low carbon structure. In the hope of building a safe living environment for the residents of New Taipei City, the city will establish green, low-carbon environment and disaster prevention system.

In addition, the Director also made an appeal to all people to put into action the work of disaster precaution in daily life, to change our mindset and attitude for developing a wholesome environment, so we will be able to lead a simple and thrifty life, restore genuineness to nature and live in harmony and peace. After all, the natural environment has limitation to its resources and load, whereas the economic activities of humanity have already exceeded its load of bearing.

As the Dharma Drum University will be established at the Northern Coast, the Director also raised the topic of “Addressing the Issue of the Environmental Disaster of Northern Coast Area,” explaining that the districts of Sanzhi, Shimen, Jinshan, and Wanli of the North Coast, all located on the seashore, may run into the risk of tsunamis, typhoons, and nuclear disaster according to the risk assessment of geological location. So, the precaution and sense of crisis is a work that needs to be taken up promptly. The Director took an example “The Disaster Prevention Structure in California: Standardized Management System for Emergency and Disasters” to explain how important and necessary to establish a disaster rescue and relief system for the city.

The second half of the lecture was conducted in the form of dialogue to exchange opinions. Yu Youhua, the dean, presided over this session, hosting the dialogue between the audience and the director Deng Jiaji and the president Liu Anchi of the Planning Office of Dharma Drum University. They discussed about environmental issues and shared work experiences, encouraging each other to work together to create a better world that is in care and reverence for natural ecology and environment.