Taiwanese youth prepare for intl. tours to study food waste reduction

The Ministry of Education's Youth Development Association has launched a new program encouraging Taiwanese students to go abroad to study techniques of promoting sustainable development

(Image courtesy of the Ministry of Education)

(Image courtesy of the Ministry of Education) (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As a new initiative to educate young Taiwanese and encourage positive action to promote sustainability and to increase Taiwan’s role in international affairs, the Ministry of Education’s Youth Development Association (YDA) has founded the “Young Fliers Global Action Plan” (Young飛全球行動計畫).

The YDA has selected a number of young Taiwanese students to participate in international educational tours with a theme of sustainable development. The main focus of the program will be dealing with leftover foods, and establishing community kitchens to reduce food waste.

The program participants met over the weekend of June 23-24 for a preparatory conference that included classes, brainstorming activities and information sessions on the upcoming tours.

In August this year, the students, divided into 21 groups, will makes trips to either the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, or Australia depending on their grouping. It is hoped once they return to Taiwan, the lessons they learn will be directly applied to their local communities, helping to further Taiwan’s commitment to a green sustainable future.

The program aims to help meet the developmental goals of the United Nations to reduce food waste by 2030. On June 20, a report from Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration released a report estimating that from March 2017 to April 2018, over 6,630 metric tons of food waste was created by Taiwan’s supermarkets, and food retailers, or more than 500 metric tons per month.

Given such data, there is clear room for improvement in Taiwan. The young people participating in the YDA program will have an opportunity to apply their experiences and their knowledge to reducing waste, while feeding the less fortunate and potentially bringing their communities closer together.

Further, the program participants will also have the opportunity to represent Taiwan abroad, and help build global networks to promote sustainable habits and food production practices in the future.

The different groups all have different areas of focus that they will pursue during their respective tours. UDN reports that while maintaining a theme of reducing waste and managing leftover foods, the different groups each have their own direction of focus including topics like: community building, inter-generational cooperation and cohabitation, environmental tourism, green architecture, and career development in environmentalism.