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Cablegate: Ait 2005 Earth Day Beach Clean-Up

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS TAIPEI 002058

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/RSP/TC AND OES/IHA

STATE PLEASE PASS TO AIT/W, USEPA AND USTR

USEPA FOR OIA/THOMPSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KSEP KPAO AORC PREL TW
SUBJECT: AIT 2005 EARTH DAY BEACH CLEAN-UP

REF: SECSTATE 73277

1. (U) Summary. Econ/ESTH, PAS and CLO along with the
Taipei American School's (TAS) Key Club worked together to
organize AIT's participation in a Taiwan government
sponsored beach-clean up event in commemoration of Earth Day
2005. Thirty two people from the AIT community (including
Americans, Foreign National Employees and family members)
and 26 TAS students participated in the Jinshan beach clean-
up on April 30, 2005. AIT DDIR delivered a speech at
the event that was very well received by the government
hosts and by the press (text of speech contained in para 2).
The beach clean-up was jointly sponsored by Taiwan's
Environmental Protection Agency, Taiwan's Coast Guard and
the Taipei County Government to celebrate both Earth Day and
Taiwan's "Year of the Sea," during which Taiwan hopes to
raise public awareness of marine pollution and to increase
protection of marine resources. In all, an estimated 3,000
people participated in the Jinshan beach clean-up.
According to Taiwan's EPA, a total of 98 beach-clean ups
were held throughout Taiwan on April 30 with a total of
40,000 volunteers participating.

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2. DDIR Earth Day Speech presented at Jinshan Beach Clean-
up, April 30, 2005:

Begin text

Taiwan EPA Minister Tsay Ting-kuei, Taipei County Vice
Governor Chang Tzi-chin, Coast Guard Administration Minister
Syu Huei-you and Jinshan Township Chief Yu Chung-yi, Taipei
American School Key Club members and all other participants
in today's event, Good Morning. On behalf of the American
Institute in Taiwan, I am very pleased to join this beach
cleanup and support your efforts to raise awareness of the
problems of marine debris and help improve the local
environment in which we all live.

This beach cleanup is both a highly appropriate
commemoration of Earth Day and of Taiwan's increased
attention to the environment since our two sides began
cooperating on environmental programs in 1993. Much has
changed in Taiwan over the past 12 years and the
environmental improvements we have seen are prominent and
welcome. Since I first studied in Taiwan in the 1970s, I
can personally attest to the significant improvements in
Taiwan's air quality.

I would also like to use this occasion to emphasize the
importance that the United States places on the responsible
use and stewardship of ocean and coastal resources. In
December 2004, President Bush released the "U.S. Ocean
Action Plan" that acknowledges the vital contributions that
oceans make to our well-being. The U.S. Ocean Action Plan
seeks to make U.S. coasts and lakes cleaner, healthier and
more productive. In addition, the United States is
pioneering techniques to crack down on illegal fishing
worldwide. And we are leading efforts to prevent marine
mammals, sharks, sea turtles, and seabirds from being
unintentionally caught in fishing nets or accidentally
hooked in longline fishing operations.

Finally, supporting your efforts today also presents an
excellent opportunity for AIT to express the importance we
place on continuing our cooperation to improve the
environment both globally and locally.

Thank you for allowing us to be here and to help contribute
to enhancing Taiwan's natural beauty.

End Text

PAAL

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