The concept and practice of the Satoyama Initiative have been widely welcomed by the government and the public after it was introduced to Taiwan. There are also 14 Taiwanese members joining the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) now, including the Forestry Bureau, the national terrestrial conservation and biodiversity authority of Taiwan.
The Forestry Bureau has integrated the concept of the Satoyama Initiative into the active terraced wetland ecological rehabilitative project, and invited the colleges and civil society to cooperate for the ecological rehabilitation of terrace wetlands, community forestry and related projects since 2009. For example, the Environmental Ethics Foundation of Taiwan assisted the local community in promoting the environmentally friendly re-cultivation of water terraces, monitoring the benefits of ecological rehabilitation and developing the experience industry in Jilin, Gongliao, New Taipei City. The Tourism Industry Development Association of the Port Tribe in Hualien Fengbin engaged in the creation of landscape art, the eco-friendly restoration of paddy fields and the development of the aboriginal industry. The Kuan Shu Education Foundation engaged in the rehabilitation of Satoumi Wetland, sustainable fisheries and environmental education in the ways of ecological compensation and international environmental arts festivals in the Chenglong Wetland of Kouhu, Yunlin. The National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) assisted the Ali tribe in Wutai, Pingtung to develop the eco-tourism under the concept of Satoyama Initiative. The Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation promoted the Green Conservation Labeling Program, making farmlands a good wildlife habitat.
The Forestry Bureau also promoted the “Taiwan Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (TPSI)” in 2016. The TPSI framework gathers the domestic practitioners, including local practitioners, communities and tribal organizations, civil organizations, and green enterprises and apply the mutual assistance and cooperation network to help the practice of the Satoyama Initiative in Taiwan. So far, more than 120 public sectors and private groups have participated in sharing the experience of the Satoyama Initiative and eco-agriculture in the TPSI framework.
The Satoyama Initiative has been practiced well in Taiwan, but we know the intense pressure on land utilization in Taiwan is caused by the high human population density in this island. Therefore, the overexploitation, pollution, and improper constructions usually fragment the completeness and the connection among “forests, rivers, rurality, oceans” in our homeland, which means a comprehensive plan for restoration and management is urgently needed. Thus the Forestry Bureau proposed the new conservation policy, the Taiwan Ecological Network project, with the cooperation of inter-ministerial agencies since 2018.
The Taiwan Ecological Network project would first consolidate the ecological survey data over the past years to identify the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Taiwan, especially the KBAs outside the central mountain conservation corridor with protected areas and the national forest areas. Then the project would engage in protecting and connecting these Key Biodiversity Areas through promoting eco-friendly agriculture under the concept of the Satoyama Initiative in agricultural areas, and developing east-west wildlife-friendly corridors using rivers, forests, and roads to connect important ecosystems between central mountain areas and the coast. The main conservation target of the Taiwan Ecological Network project is to preserve the “social-ecological-production” landscape and seascape in Taiwan and to reach the vision of “Living in Harmony With Nature”, as well the 2050 vision for biodiversity of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Keywords: Taiwan Ecological Network, Satoyama Initiative, eco-friendly agriculture, biodiversity
Date submitted: September 17, 2019