"Green" Is All about Walking the Talk!

2nd Congress of the Asia Pacific Greens Network -- Demonstration of a Green, Low Carbon and Environmentally Friendly Conference

May 1, 2010

Taiwan’s first large-scale international conference on the environment, the Second Congress of the Asia pacific Greens Network will be held between April 30th and May 2nd at the Tianmu Convention Center. Among the invited are environmentalists from all 5 continents and domestic and foreign NGOs. The symposium not only provides a platform for participants to debate and brainstorm on environmental issues of great concern in the AP region, but also aims to achieve a resource-saving and environmentally friendly result in all aspects through the collaboration with Taiwan's non-profit groups and businesses, whereby Taiwan's first-ever green, low carbon symposium is being made possible. We believe that "green" is more than lip service; it is environmental education through actual implementation.

Unlike traditional large-scale conferences where lots of gifts and documents are distributed to meeting participants, resulting in waste of resources, this green congress has been designed to minimize the use of paper and non-biodegradable products. For example, should making photocopies be required, the organizers have prepared FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper to ensure that paper is from an accountable and well-managed source. Furthermore, participants are gifted with tailor-made organic cotton handkerchiefs which not only have commemorative value, but also serve the purpose of reducing the consumption of paper products.

In an effort to curb the excessive amount of garbage generated by disposable utensils, non-toxic, reusable bamboo cups which also make perfect souvenirs for foreign guests have been presented APGN 2010 participants.

Making sure the food source and its preparation for as many as 300 people are environmentally sound was an arduous, but worthy task. The organizing committee collaborated with a number of NPOs and social enterprises (list is attached at the bottom) to supply local non-toxic and seasonal produce in an attempt to cut down superfluous packaging and the carbon emission incurred during transport. A 3-bin composting system and a demonstration edible landscape were installed on the lawn at the entrance to the convention center venue by environmental education NGO Earth Passengers, whose work is based principally on "Permaculture" (see note) design. The goal of these efforts were to showcase to venue operators, particpants and the community at large how to use local natural resources in producing food and reducing waste at a local level.

On the transport front, the Taipei City Government has sponsored the event by providing 20 bikes through its "YouBike" program during the conference. Tianmu-based cultural and historical group "Cao Shan Culture and History Studio" also has provided hundreds of free eco-friendly bags to minimize burdening the environment.

Providers of organic produce used for meals and tea time breaks during the conference:

  • Association of Taiwan Indigenous People’s College – pesticide-free vegetables
  • Tucheng natural farm - pesticide-free vegetables
  • Hopemarket – preserved and dried plums and longan flavored ginger candy
  • 248 Farmer’s Market – Sundried fruits and milk candy
  • ÖKOGREEN – Fare Trade coffee
  • Home of the eco-friendly farmers – pesticide-free fruits

Note: About Permacultural Design

A central theme in Permaculture is the design of ecological landscapes that produce food whereby harmonious existence between people and nature is made possible. It features preservation, collection and use of the five fundamental resources - water, energy, soil, plants and know-how of the local people. In addition, its designs are committed to the development of sustainability, planning, implementation of planning and site management approaches.

Translated by Emerald Chang