Gro Brundtland Week opens, highlights sustainable development

Taipei (CNA) The Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development kicked off on Sunday at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)in Tainan with the aim of promoting public interest in sustainable development and honoring female researchers from developing countries and Taiwan.

The five winners of this year's Gro Brundtland Award attended the opening ceremony and will receive their awards on March 17, according to the Tang Prize Foundation.

The winners are Fathiah Zakham, an assistant researcher at Hodeidah University in Yemen; Farah Fathima, an assistant professor at India's St. John's Medical College; Phyllis Awor, a post doctoral fellow from Uganda's Makerere University; Wafa Al-Jamal, a prostate cancer research fellow at the UK's University of East Anglia; and Yen Yi-chun, a research fellow from Singapore's Duke-NUS Medical School.

Addressing the opening ceremony, NCKU President Su Huey-jen (???) said, in view of the urgent need to "network our next generation of stakeholders as early as we can, invitations are extended to high school students in every city when the program is taking place."

"It is hoped that we will be able to plant in their minds the seed of believing in the value of sustainable development and they will become the sustainable cadets in the endeavors for a sustainable future," Su said.

Among the speakers at the opening event was Regina Benjamin, former US Surgeon General, who drew much attention from event goers interested in health and sustainability.

The second Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development will last from Sunday to March 17 and will include lectures and discussions on such topics as women's and children's health, disease and environmental sustainability, held in Tainan, Taichung, Hualien and Taipei.

After NCKU, the speakers will travel to Tunghai University in central Taiwan, Tzu Chi University in east coast, National Taiwan Normal University in northern part, and the headquarters of Tang Prize Foundation.

Brundtland, the winner of the first Tang Prize in sustainable development, often called the "godmother of sustainable development," used the NT$5 million (US$162,114) she received from the Tang Prize to establish the Gro Brundtland Award to recognize distinguished researchers in her field.

The prize requires that candidates are female, under 40 years old, citizens of a developing country or Taiwan, hold a research doctorate and carry out research related to public health or sustainable development.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel