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[Event Report] The 2019 2nd East Asia Forum on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management Law and Policy


OPRI-NUK participants
[photo 1] Speakers from six countries

In the face of global climate change, extreme weather events result in many cluster disasters worldwide. East Asia is deemed one of the most vulnerable regions on Earth to the impact of global warming, which results in natural hazards such as heavier rainfall, stronger typhoons and floods. It is thus critical to compare the current climate change action strategies in East Asia, such as countermeasures for large-scale disasters, and draft policies and legislations to promote resilient cities and future relevant legislation to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

The school of Law of the National University of Kaohsiung (NUK),the International Relations Research Center of the National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council, (OAC) hosted the 2019 2nd East Asia Forum on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Management Law and Policy in the School of Law, National University of Kaohsiung during 17-18 October 2019. The Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF) jointly co-organized the Forum by inviting 6 specialists to present the findings of ongoing projects and participated in the panel discussion of current trend and future perspectives.

In the opening remarks, Dr. Chin-Da Chuang, Deputy Minister of Oceans, indicated that OAC, as a newly established ministry, aims to tackle comprehensive oceanic issues such as plastics debris and other pollution, requiring international collaborative actions. Ms. Ching-Yi Lin, a medical doctor, as well as the chairperson of Taiwan’s Parliamentary UNSDGs promotion committee, advocated dialogues between ministries and countries over the world for interdisciplinary issues to accomplish various objectives.

In the keynote speech, the Chair, Professor Jiunn-Rong Yeh from National Taiwan University, who is also the former Education and Interior Minister, quoted the famous scene of the angry girl at the Climate Action Summit and gave further explanation on “Climate Change Governance and Democratic Challenges.” Short-term democracy is unable to solve long-term climate change problems. Therefore multi-level governance should be promoted to a wider scope of stakeholders, such as communities, schools and individuals, so that such issues could be internalized effectively to have maximum impacts.

Prof.Jiunn-Rong Yeh
[photo 2] Keynote speech by Professor Jiunn-Rong Yeh

Professor Rasyikah Md. Khalid, Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Law from University Kebangsaan, Malaysia, served as Session Chair and introduced “Effective Water Governance for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation.” Ms. Kunitsugu Jun from the Japan Wind Power Association spoke on Floating Wind Turbines in Japan; Dr. Tomo Shioiri from the Nippon Foundation discussed plastic waste management toward a circulation economy and how it exemplifies cross-sector collaboration for the future. Mr. Jay Tristan Tarriela, currently Ph.D. Candidate in the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan, was also invited to introduce the multi-functionality and potential of coast guard diplomacy.

Prof.Rasyikah Md. Khalid
[photo 3] Professor Rasyikah Md. Khalid from Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), being an important scheme for blue finance, the research of Mr. Tanaka and Dr. Huang titled “The Opportunity of Blue Finance toward Ocean Risk: Case of Southern Hokkaido” is about using the GIS system to identify locations of industrial units in a tsunami hazard map with the application of a recursive Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model for policy simulation on the disaster risk reduction. Meanwhile, Ms. Yoshioka presented “Financial Innovation and Inclusion for Climate Change Adaptation toward a Resilient Asia Pacific”, illustrating a framework for a social impact fund toward climate change in Asia Pacific region. The conference was a great platform that provided feedback, and many suggestions were received regarding these preliminary results.

Mr. Chih-Wei ChenMr. Jay Tristan TarrielaMs. Nagisa YoshiokaDr. Michael C. Huang
[photo 4] Young researchers presented insights for vibrant discussion (from left: Mr. Chih-Wei Chen, Mr. Jay Tristan Tarriela, Ms. Nagisa Yoshioka (OPRI-SPF), Dr. Michael C. Huang (OPRI-SPF))

In the closing session, Mr. Chih-Wei Chen, Advisor to Executive Yuan in Taiwan and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in the UK, demonstrated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Taiwan by showing the films edited for General Assembly promotion, and lastly, NUK President Shyue-Liang Wang topped off the conference by introducing University Social Responsibility as partners of SDGs, indicating that these themes would still play important role in the global arena. OPRI-SPF concluded by expressing that it was a privilege to be one of the partners hosting the Forum and that it would continue assisting such vibrant platforms for global dialogues and for promoting evidence-based research and exchange.

(Michael C. Huang and Hajime Tanaka, Researchers, OPRI)