Former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Inaugural (2014) Tang Prize Laureate of Sustainable Development, was invited by President of Academia Sinica James C. Liao to participate in a special forum "Public Health and the Environment in a Sustainable Society". The special forum which took place at Academia Sinica on April 2 highlighting the importance of public health and sustainable development was jointly organized by Academia Sinica, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Tang Prize Foundation.
Dr. Brundtland shared her insights on two main topics “the impact of climate change on the environment and sustainable development” and “the condition of public health in a changing environment and society” with the distinguished penalists including Academician Shaw Chen Liu, NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su, and the Dean of College of Public Health of National Taiwan University Chang-Chuan Chan. Other issues relevant to population decline, air pollution and energy were also discussed in-depth.
Served three terms as the Prime Minister of Norway and later as the Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Brundtland pointed out that government’s policy was very important to sustainable development. The government leader should have a long-term insight and must explain the purpose to its people.
Dr. Brundtland also mentioned that Norway is one of the major export country of oil and gas in the world. Along with its economic growth the government made great effort to reduce carbon emission. It turns out that Tesla becomes the most popular vehicle in Norway. The government implemented policies such as tax reduction to encourage people replace to electric cars. Carbon Tax is another revolutionary method Dr. Brundtland had made. It did improve and upgrade the industrial technology and the sustainability for human society as well.
As the Deputy Chair of The Elders since its founding in 2007, Dr. Brundtland has dedicated her life to address concerns related to global climate change, equitable health system, human rights and the ultimate goal—sustainability for human society. Dr. Brundtland came to Taiwan this April to attend the Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development which is endorsed by herself aiming to foster young female scientists. Dr. Brundtland designated half of the Tang Prize research grant to National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) for the establishment of Gro Brundtland Award and the Week of Women in Sustainable Development. Since 2016, 15 female scientists have been awarded.
Tomorrow Dr. Brundtland will attend the closing ceremony and give a talk entitled “Sustainable Development Goals, a thirty year story of international collaboration” at NCKU. She will be awarded with Honorary Doctorate by NCKU on the same day. Also, the five outstanding awardees included Natisha Dukhi (South Africa), Barbara Burmen (Kenya), Neha Dahiya (India), Weena Gera (Philippine) , Sarva Mangala Praveena’s (Malaysia) will be awarded with 2018 Gro Brundtland Award presented by Gro Brundtland herself.