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Caption: Members of Sustainable Jersey met with Taiwan’s minister of Environmental Protection, Stephen Shu-Hung Shen on August 9, at the Ben Franklin Elementary School in Lawrence Township (Mercer). Pictured (left to right) are Pam Mount, Lawrence Township (Mercer) Councilwoman and Chair of the League’s Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future and a Sustainable Jersey Partner; Stephen Shu-Hung Shen, the Minister of Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration; Bill Dressel, Executive Director, New Jersey League of Municipalities and Shing-Fu Hsueh, Mayor, West Windsor Township. (Photo by Ideal Image Consulting.)

 

Sustainable Jersey Hosts Taiwanese Delegation

On August 9, 2001, Sustainable Jersey hosted Stephen Shu-Hung Shen, the Minister of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (EPAT) and his delegation in New Jersey.  The Taiwanese delegation visited to explore replicable best practices in New Jersey related to sustainability actions. 

“New Jersey and Taiwan are similar places with a lot to learn from each other.  I’m looking forward to furthering exchanges in green energy, green business and also pioneering new and better ways to coordinate higher levels of government and local communities,” commented Shen.

The one-day visit to New Jersey was jam packed with meetings, tours and presentations.  The delegation met with municipal officials in Woodbridge Township, which has earned the Sustainable Jersey Sustainability Champion award for the past two years after securing the most points in the municipal certification program.

“As the Sustainable Jersey Champion and state leader in sustainable business and environmental initiatives, Woodbridge Township presented Minister Stephen Shen with concrete examples and insight on how sustainable programs can work with business and community priorities,” said Woodbridge Township Mayor John E. McCormac.  “Woodbridge has hosted trade and eco-delegations from around the world as part of international efforts to present a roadmap on how sustainable initiatives work with redevelopment, business, education, recreation and business opportunities.”

The delegation also attended presentations on the Sustainable Jersey certified communities of Lawrence (Mercer) and West Windsor Townships. The delegation also met with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Their final stop was the Ben Franklin Elementary School in Lawrence Township, which enjoys a sister school arrangement with JianAn Elementary School in New Taipei, Taiwan. The schools collaborate on sustainable education initiatives.

On hand to welcome the Taiwanese visitors were U.S. Representative Rush Holt (Hopewell Township), Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, and Lawrence Township school board members, school administrators, teachers, staff members and students. 

“I’m very much looking forward to embedding sustainability, environmental education and cultural awareness into our curriculum with our students and shattering the boundaries of traditional education,” Chris Turnbull, Principal of Ben Franklin Elementary said.

Pam Mount, Lawrence Councilwoman and Chair of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future(a Sustainable Jersey partner) spent the day with the delegation. “Sustainable Jersey is a groundbreaking program that has harnessed the power of local communities in New Jersey to deliver results through sustainable actions.  We increasingly realize it’s a useful model for others both nationally and internationally,” Mount said.  “We were pleased to host our friends from Taiwan and have already identified collaborative projects.”

In June 2011, a Sustainable Jersey delegation travelled to Taipei to engage in mutual learning and sharing of best practices on climate, sustainable energy and community level change. The exchange was supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through an agreement with the American Institute in Taiwan. 

Randall Solomon and Donna Drewes, Co-Directors of the Institute for Sustainability Planning & Governance at the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey and Sustainable Jersey founding partners; traveled to Taipei and served as hosts for the visitors.  “We see tremendous opportunities for collaboration,” said Randall Solomon. “Taiwan and New Jersey have similar economies and a focus on energy technology and innovation and education for sustainability.”

The third annual Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon at the New Jersey League of Municipalities annual conference is on Tuesday, November 15, 2011.  For information on the luncheon and sponsorship opportunities or to learn more about Sustainable Jersey go to www.sustainablejersey.com.

 

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