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【SDG 17】2021 Nordic Sustainable Forum series event "SDG City in 2030: The Nordics-New Taipei Partnership Dialogue" and the release of New Taipei City's 2021VLR

2021-11-03
Nordic representatives witness New Taipei City’s sustainable practice (from left to right: Yao Ching-yu, director general of the Secretariat of New Taipei City Government; Mikko Karppinen, representative of Finland Trade Center in Taiwan; Hou Yu-ih, mayor of New Taipei City; Bo Mønsted, director of The Trade Council of Denmark, Taipei; and Bengt Göran Mikael Carlsson, the representative of The Swedish Trade & Invest Council).
Members attending the 12-day (November 1–12) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) included leaders and climate representatives of 197 parties. The primary goals of this conference were to help countries worldwide achieve the goal of zero emission by the end of this century and encourage them to commit to substantial emission reduction by 2030.

To support this action, Mayor Hou Yu-ih of New Taipei City released the 2021 New Taipei SDGs Voluntary Local Review (VLR) today (December 11) during the “Sustainable Future City: A Dialogue between New Taipei City and its Nordic Partners” event. The event was attended by international friends, including representatives of the Swedish, Finish, and Danish commissions in Taiwan and those of Nordic businesses, providing an opportunity for the attendees to witness New Taipei City’s sustainable practice.

A total of 193 member states agreed to work toward the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released by the United Nations in 2015. New Taipei City released its first VLR report in 2019; it is the first city in Taiwan and 10th worldwide to release a VLR report. This practice was subsequently adopted by Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Yilan County, and Taichung City in Taiwan, making sustainable development a new standard for local governance.

New Taipei City is the only city in Taiwan to be invited to sign the New York City Voluntary Local Review Declaration. New York City’s Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena, who plays a key role in the liaison between New York City and the United Nations, expressed her support for New Taipei City in a video, hoping that New Taipei City, New York City, and other international cities can join their efforts toward attaining SDGs.

Mayor Hou said that SDGs were a crucial element in New Taipei City’s governance blueprint and a bridge that connects the city with the international community. New Taipei City was invited to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance and sign the Climate Emergency Declaration petition, which involves collaborating with large international cities to combat climate, societal, and economic challenges. Despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hou promised that New Taipei City will continue to uphold the SDG spirit of “leaving no one behind” in its journey toward becoming a city where citizens can live and work in peace.
 
Mayor Hou talks about how New Taipei City upholds the SDGs spirit of “leaving no one behind”.
The second VLR report contained 60 case studies of SDG practices in New Taipei City. They include the city’s preemptive efforts against the pandemic, the transformation of a waste mountain in Wugu into a green space, the New Taipei Woman Power program, a smart flood control system, the establishment of the Three Rings and Six Lines metro system, an older adult-young adult­–youth cohousing program, and green transportation.

Nordic countries are global leaders in promoting sustainability. Therefore, New Taipei City invited Bengt Göran Mikael Carlsson (representative of The Swedish Trade & Invest Council), Mikko Karppinen (representative of Finland Trade Center in Taiwan), Bo Mønsted (director of The Trade Council of Denmark, Taipei), and representatives of Nordic businesses to attend the event and engage in an exchange of ideas on sustainable local practices. The green traffic, water treatment, and SDG sessions of the event were hosted respectively by Chung Ming-shih (director of the New Taipei City Transportation Department), Sung Te-jen (director of the New Taipei City Water Resources Department), and Yao Ching-yu (director general of the New Taipei City Secretariat), and online discussions involving representatives of Nordic businesses and the Helsinki City Council were held.

During the event, Mayor Hou and Director General Yao unveiled the eye-catching large-size model of the VLR report, which is the largest in Taiwan. They talked about the sustainability and circularity concepts that were incorporated into the model design and influenced the report itself and its packaging. The packaging and key visual features of the VLR report were designed by Mistroom. The porous board on the top section of the model was a recycled backup board for printed circuit board drilling supplied by insight out. The REstone material on the sides of the model was a remade material produced jointly by REnato lab and Super Dragon Technology Co., Ltd. using fragmented printed circuit boards. The galvanized board at the bottom of the model was a magnetic iron plate designed by the Comma Lab of New Taipei City Government. The parchment paper bag and sticky notes inside the model were produced by insight out with unwanted parchment paper that was originally used in packaging by factories. The canvas bag on the outside of the model, which was made using unwanted canvas fabric originally used for advertising posters, was designed by Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab.

For the New Taipei City Government, the VLR report is not just a book; the creation of the report itself is an example of SDG implementation. Plan b was commissioned to write this report on the basis of the achievements of the city government’s 29 departments and offices as well as the city government’s collaborations with partners in the industry, government, and academic sectors—including various international organizations, renowned international think tanks, social enterprises, and civil societies—which represent the implementation of SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Mayor Hou hopes that New Taipei City can collaborate with more international partners and continue on its path toward attaining SDGs and becoming a sustainable city by 2030.
 
2021 New Taipei SDGs Voluntary Local Review.

Competent Authority: Secretariat

 
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