WETLANDS CONSERVATION AND ITS VISION FOR TAIWAN

  • Chiau, Wen-Yan (Dept. of Marine Environment and Engineering, Nat′l Sun Yat-sen Univ)
  • Published : 2002.05.01

Abstract

Wetlands provide vital habitats for fish and wildlife while offering numerous other benefits. As in some other countries, however, Taiwan has witnessed the loss of a significant portion of its coastal wetlands due to large-scale reclamation projects along the coast. Most of the wetlands that still remain are seriously being threatened by both human activities and natural changes, such as drainage for agricultural production, filling for industrial development, discharge of wastes and drought. The administrative performance of the existing authorities and legislation in Taiwan has mostly been ineffective in protecting these precious, sensitive areas. This paper introduces the distribution of wetlands in Taiwan and highlights their invaluable functions and potential economic value. It also discussed the recent activities, both initiated by the government and the NGOs, to protect wetlands in Taiwan. Based on the above discussion, the paper identifies the wide-range of current problems related to their management and proposes the vision should have to save wetlands for the future. It argues that establishing clear policies and effective institutional mechanisms on wetland protection and conservation, classifying the wetlands for better management, and fully promoting public awareness and consciousness of the importance of the wetlands will not only be beneficial but will also address the urgent need to safeguard the wetlands in Taiwan. Additionally, the paper recognizes that international cooperation and collaboration on wetland restoration is essential and most challenging.