Under the support of Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) collaborated with the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (USJP) to establish the Taiwan and Sri Lanka Environmental Change Sciences and Technology Innovation Center (TS/ECSTIC). The Grand Opening Ceremony was held at USJP, Sri Lanka on February 25th, 2019. Professor Mitch Chou, Vice President for Research and Development of NSYSU led 11 delegates to the opening ceremony. Ambassador Chung-kwang Tien, Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India, was invited to attend the ceremony. The event was a great success. The collaborations of the two universities rose to an international level and it built a relationship between Taiwan and Sri Lanka.
Mitch Chou remarked that Taiwan and Sri Lanka were island countries, having similar geographical features; one is located in the subtropical west Pacific and the other is by the tropical India Ocean. They both face the common challenges of global warming, ocean acidification, and environmental changes. Both countries also have abundant marine and plant bio-resources. Through the joint center, they will administer research on the comparison of the differentiation of marine ecosystems, plant ecology, and bio-resources. They expect that the outcome will be a better understanding of global scenarios such as global warming and anthropogenic impacts in the regions of the subtropical and tropical belts.
Professor Ranil de Silva, Director of the World Class Universities Grand Project, USJP, said the TS/ECSTIC would focus on research of four vital environmental issues: 1) Terrestrial ecology and conservation, 2) Nutrient and carbon dynamics in the coastal zone of Sri Lanka, 3) Effect of global warming on coral reefs, marine ecosystems, mangroves, and seagrass bed, and 4) Smart shrimp aquaculture using the latest developed technologies.
Honorable guest Ambassador Tien said he was happy to witness the establishment of the relationship between Taiwan and Sri Lanka through the collaborations of NSYSU and USJP. He expected that both sides would build more links, such as providing Chinese language learning programs and cooperating with each other for talent cultivation.
After the inauguration, the deputy director of the TS/ECSTIC, Professor Chin-Chang Hung, Vice Dean of College of Marine Sciences of NSYSU anchored the first bilateral symposium on “Marine Biology and Genetic Characterization of Natural Products.” It was a fruitful beginning for a development of a good relationship between the two universities and the two countries.