To explore issues complicated by the coronavirus, including sustainable development, climate change and environmental protection, the Tang Prize Foundation and National Tsing Hua University will co-host the 2020 Tang Prize Masters’ Forum for Sustainable Development, taking place at 4p.m. (GMT+8) Taiwan time, on September 21. Livestreamed on the Foundation’s website (https://www.tang-prize.org/en/week.php?cat=94) with Chinese and English settings available, this forum features several Tang Prize laureates who, though unable to travel to Taiwan due to the pandemic, will deliver their speeches, take part in roundtable discussions and answer the audience’s questions via videoconferencing. This special organization is not only to reflect how the pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we used to live but also to show the Foundation’s determination to provide a platform for people around the world to have serious conversations on topics closely related to sustainable development and thus to become more alert to possible dangers caused by mankind’s disregard of ecological balance.
Economic development, environmental conservation, and social justice are the three pillars of sustainable development, at the core of which is ecological conservation, the main theme of this forum. In addition to the moderator, President of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica Dr. James Liao, and the keynote speaker, 2020 Tang Prize winner in Sustainable Development Dr. Jane Goodall, three previous Tang Prize laureates will also contribute their professional opinions. They are Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director-general of the WHO, Dr. James Hansen, director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions in the Earth Institute at Colombia University, and Prof. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Victor C. Alderson professor of applied ocean science in UC San Diego. Moreover, Prof. Huey-Jen Jenny Su, president of National Cheng Kung University, and Prof. Chia-Wei Li from the Department of Life Science at National Tsing Hua University will serve as panelists. These experts will take us through problems magnified during the pandemic, such as social and economic inequalities, climate change, and the relationship between humans, animals and nature, all of which will have profound impact on sustainable development.
In her speech, “Ecological Conservation and Sustainable Development of Human Society: The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic,” Dr. Goodall will elaborate on how animals and species have been forced to move away from their usual habitats because of mankind’s exploitation and disrespect of nature. This could create situations where species that normally wouldn’t be in touch at all end up coming into contact with one another, or animals go into cities in search of food. The current pandemic is thought to have started because we traffic and sell wildlife in markets, making it easier for a pathogen to jump from an animal to a human.
Thrown into a global health emergency, we have witnessed how our lives have been disrupted and how our wisdom and responses to crises have been put to test. Therefore, the Tang Prize Foundation cordially invite you to join us in this forum and learn about the masters’ insight as to how to realize sustainable development under these trying circumstances.