Environmental problems need a holistic approach: Future Earth rep.

2017/03/16 20:52:50 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Environmental problems need a holistic approach: Future Earth rep.

Taipei, March 16 (CNA) A more holistic approach is needed to tackle complicated global environmental challenges, a representative of Future Earth, an international research platform dedicated to advancing global sustainable development, said on Thursday in Taipei.

"We need to address multiple challenges (such as climate change, poverty, energy, demographic change and urbanization) in an integrated and inclusive way," Fumiko Kasuga, Future Earth Global Hub Director for Japan, said during a speech at National Taiwan Normal University.

In the past, most research was conducted within individual scientific disciplines, but to tackle such complicated challenges, it is necessary for individual scientific communities to collaborate and share their knowledge and experience, Kasuga told CNA after her speech.

Collaboration outside the science community is also important, Kasuga said, adding that in many cities, local residents help scientists collect data, specimens, and observe daily changes in the environment.

On the threat of climate change, Kasuga said it is already causing natural disasters and rising sea levels, changing bird migration patterns and contributing to the greater spread of mosquito-borne disease.

It is also changing human societies, she added. For example, drought in Syria caused crop failures and led to the mass migration of people, which contributed to the unstable political situation in the region, Kasuga said.

When asked if she is concerned about the climate change skepticism evident in the Cabinet of U.S. President Donald Trump, Kasuga said Trump's attitude to environmental science "is very worrisome."

But what worries her more is that such skepticism is also held by members of the public.

"I'm more worried about the perceptions of people," Kasuga said, adding that more education is needed on the topic.

Kasgua's speech was part of a series of events held during the Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development, which runs until Friday and includes lectures on women's and children's health, disease and environmental sustainability.

Brundtland, a former Norwegian Prime Minister, was the winner of the first Tang Prize in sustainable development and is often called the "godmother of sustainable development."

(By Christie Chen)

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