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About TGEO

The Subjects and the Aims of Taiwan Group on Earth Observations

1. To undertake the responsibility as a citizen on Earth

With the fact that the problem of climate change caused by global warming has come into worldwide notice and the devastating scene of The Day After Tomorrow is approaching, the programs of earth observations launched by the United Nations are carried out all over the world, combining the academic and intellectual, inspecting terrestrial environment information and offering solutions in accordance with disasters derived from climate change.

As a member of the global village, Taiwan cannot stay out the war against global warming. Therefore, we decide to found Taiwan Group on Earth Observations (TGEO) with the society of academia.

2. To connect Taiwan to the World

Since the withdrawal from the UN in 1971, Taiwan could hardly make presence in the international community. After years of efforts of ruling parties, opposition parties and civil societies, last year Taiwan, as an observer, participated in the World Health Assembly for the first time, taking the biggest step for returning to World Health Organization (WHO).

The government has decided the next step, participating the international social organizations and targeting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). According to the experience of promoting the participation in WHO in our nation, this work must begin with the private sector and the environmental academic organization to proceed in order to yield twice the result with half the effort. Thus, setting up Taiwan Group of Earth observations to converge on other organizations of Earth Observations, including EMSEA (Environmental Monitoring from Space of East Asia), GEO (Group on Earth Observations) and IGMASS (International Global Monitoring Aerospace System), … etc., becomes our important mission.

3. To improve the ability of observing environment to prevent from disasters

How to improve the global environment observation capabilities combined with the knowledge management to reverse the environmental crisis caused by global changes into a turning point of sustainable development for Taiwan? How to conduct relevant research and knowledge exchange in nine areas: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sustainability, Disaster Resilience, Energy and Mineral Resources Management, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Infrastructure & Transportation Management, Public Health Surveillance, Sustainable Urban Development, Water Resources Management and Industry, and how to elaborate a significant influence to raise the overall well-being of Taiwan are aims of TGEO.

NATURAL DISASTER HOTSSPOTS: A GLOBAL RISK ANALYSIS published by the World Bank in 2005 indicates that: 73% of Taiwan accounts for the exposure to at least 3 natural disasters at the same time while 73% of Taiwanese population is under the risks of disaster. Both rates are the highest around the world. Furthermore, how should we react to the problems of severe shortage of food and water in the upcoming twenty-first century?

Compared to the draught on August 7th 50 years ago having brought one thousand millimeters of rainfall in one day, the Typhoon Morakot in 2009, not a super typhoon, brought the worst damage in 50 years, causing 2.5 or even 3 times of rainfall. An incredible phenomenon of climate change! The most likely reason is that Taiwan's coastal high temperature with greatly increasing humidity has been brought into the strong Southwest Monsoon by the Typhoon Morakot, leading to the extremely long torrential rain. The breaking-record rainfall has proved that the problem of unusual climate occurred in Taiwan, which could be related to the emission of greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide leading to global warming. Will there be the "Climate Fault" to end human being?

The accuracy of quantitative precipitation forecasts has called in question during the Typhoon Morakot, and President Ma expects that our weather forecast can be improved to prevent from catastrophes.

4. To assist our government to monitor territory

All sorts of past disasters will not disappear with time and never come back. Those natural disasters that we have to confront every year become the most crucial and the most realistic trial. To avoid the expansion of disasters and the aggravation of environment, TGEO integrates the professionals and cooperates with organizations of Earth Observations to monitor the surroundings of Taiwan. Such work can not only provide references for governmental units to make decision for policy of disaster prevention, but also for residents to make preparations to minimize the damage before the typhoon comes.

5. To learn the lesson and to avoid passing enthusiasm

With the fact that the effects of climate change emerge, the rainfall breaks the historical record and the constructions could not stop catastrophes anymore, all human negligence is revealed under nature's revenge, causing the lost of uncountable lives and property. To learn the lesson is the best strategy preventing from the next disaster, but it shouldn't be only passing enthusiasm.

After each disaster, the government cannot help but appropriate immediately funds for rehabilitation under the pressure of victims and the public opinion while those governmental units who don't apply all the budgets will be punished, resulting in insufficient time for planning the project, lacking substance, recommitting the same error, and unsustainable development of construction for disaster prevention.

Therefore, TGEO will play the role as a private database, offering a communication platform for disaster prevention and climate change.