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SDG council says water management one target
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The Legislative Yuan yesterday established a UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advisory Council, with officials highlighting a need to improve management of water resources.

The inauguration event was attended by Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃), Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Tseng (曾厚仁).

The council is to monitor the government’s performance as it seeks to attain the SDGs, facilitate cooperation between the public and private sectors, and promote parliamentary diplomacy, said Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), who heads the council.

Promoting sustainability is not about helping others, but about self-help, Tsai said, adding that pursuing SDGs should not merely be a slogan or ideal, but should bring changes to thinking and actions.

The nation has implemented water rationing after none of this year’s 17 typhoons made landfall in Taiwan, meaning less rainfall, You said, adding that weather patterns have changed globally and at the township level.

It is important to follow natural rhythms and reduce unnecessary consumption that usually results from greed, You said, citing the Tao Te Ching (道德經).

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said that the council’s establishment was a milestone for “green” governance.

With lower rainfall this year, the Bansin Water Supply Plant, which supplies parts of Taoyuan and New Taipei City, has had to draw 700,000 tonnes of water per day from the Feitsui Reservoir (翡翠水庫), Cheng said.

To facilitate smart management of resources, the Taiyuan City Government is assessing its recycling systems, groundwater and ponds, he said.

The city government is also promoting low-carbon logistics and other SDG-linked plans, he said.

Reporters asked Cheng, the only mayor at the event, if he was seeking to boost his influence at the legislature to prepare for after his second mayoral term ends in 2022.

He was there to promote sustainability, not for political reasons, Cheng said.

Local governments are important actors for executing policies, Tsai said.

Cheng was invited because of Taoyuan’s outstanding performance in promoting the SDGs, he said.

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