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Environmental Forum | How Can Government Be Smart? | Hong-Yuan Lee

April 4, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Y2E2 Building, Room 299

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Dr. Hong-Yuan Lee, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University and former Minister of the Interior of Taiwan.

Lee points out key issues and solutions for flooding problems, which should consider national land use, water resources, disaster management, etc. For example, when land subsidence and groundwater overdraft were the cause for floods in west plain of Taiwan, the Taiwanese government spent a lot of funding to raise up the coastal levee and purchase a pumping system. However, the problem is persists. The government never considered solving the problem with ideas regarding land use and/or watershed management. Solving the problem with the right policy and different ideas, for example a comprehensive manage plan of the watershed, should be the key. Taiwan is located in an earthquake zone, especially the capital - Taipei. If a great shallow earthquake hits the capital, more than four thousand buildings may collapse.

He highly suggests that the renewal of urban planning should include the ability to mitigate disasters. Sustainable development should be the main focus for urban renewal. The shortage of water resources in Taiwan is a big issue in the near future. Climate changes, sedimentation in reservoirs and mountain rivers all are warning signs for the government that water resources is an urgent problem. The government does not mandate water recycling for industries and never built up policy for the usage of water resources. This presentation represents many issues which Taiwan faced, and its solutions with examples to mitigate these problems. In the past, the governmenthas always tried to solve the problem with conventional thoughts and methods. We should conduct the comprehensive means to find a real answer to a problem. Moreover, Dr. Lee introduces several techniques such as the innovative desalination system, the renewable energy of hydrogen, aquaculture, high-quality crops, etc. The desalination technique can convert toxic brine into water and micro-nutrient. The state-of-art hydrogen energy can be applied to many fields to solve environmental issues. Dr. Lee concludes that when facing problems, the nation and government should keep these in mind: Integration, Coherence, Governance, Positive thinking, Out-of-box thinking, and Dialogue.

 

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