On Monday, October 21, 2019 nearly 100 scholars, representatives from national research grant agencies, and field experts on environmental change and sustainable development gathered in Taipei to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Belmont Forum founding. Established in 2009 as a joint international organization, the Belmont Forum comprises a network of research grant agencies and legal entities. The Belmont Forum promotes global environmental research and sustainable development through its close partnerships with the International Council for Science (ISC) and other United Nations science organizations. By enhancing global knowledge of environmental change and sustainable development through multilateral collaborative research actions (CRAs), the Belmont Forum integrates our knowledge from stakeholders, nature, humanities, and social sciences into transdisciplinary solutions for specific actions.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan became a full member of the Belmont Forum in October 2015, actively participating, and carrying international responsibilities within the Belmont Forum’s large-scale global scientific organization and throughout the global village. This year coincides with the 10th Anniversary of the Belmont Forum’s establishment. MOST Taiwan is honored to host the 10th Anniversary event and Plenary Meeting in Taipei with the Belmont Forum Secretariat from 21st to 25th October at the GIS NTU convention center and Apex Building in the NTU campus. At this year's annual meeting for Belmont Forum members, the important developmental milestones in the Belmont Forum history were recognized. Members and partners from more than 28 countries, across six continents, travelled to Taiwan to participate in this event. As a co-sponsor for this year’s event, Minister of MOST, Dr. Liang-Gee Chen gave welcome remarks highlighting our efforts with Belmont Forum members toward contributing to our society’s development. Minister Chen also echoed the concerns of recent climate changes addressed at last month’s International Climate Conference, and expressed Taiwan’s support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as a shared vision for mankind.
Two Belmont Forum meeting chairpersons in attendance were from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) of USA and UK respectively. The chairmen will lead participants from October 21st to 22nd, in reviews of the Belmont Forum’s development over the past ten years, and will discuss strategies for the next decade in response to global environmental changes. Following this will be a three-day 2019 plenary meeting from 23rd October, in which the Belmont Forum members will focus on the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the UN SDGs, and review existing projects. A variety of transdisciplinary research initiatives will be proposed to face the challenges of global environmental change, including ‘Beyond the Paris Agreement’, ‘Urban Blue and Green Spaces’, ‘Urban Transformation Capacities’, ‘Sustainable Consumption’, ‘Africa Regional Call’, ‘Migration’, and ‘Sustainable Desert Cities’. It is expected that the Belmont Forum members will reach consensus and launch international cross-disciplinary research projects, driving global efforts to overcome global environmental changes for the sustainable development of humanity. The Belmont Forum 10th Anniversary event and Plenary Meeting contributes to the continuation of our society’s development to maintain mankind’s beautiful natural environment for the future.
Tung-Ta Tang, Associate Researcher
Department of Natural Sciences and Sustainable Development,
Ministry of Science and Technology