"The administration of the forest industries should be based on long-term homeland security goals."
National forestlands are mostly located in areas with high mountains and steep ridges where there are very few residents. In order to eﬀectively manage national forestlands and protect such national assets, besides strengthening forestland cadastral management, establishing a sound forestland lease management system, and reducing the occurrence of lease violations, laws must be enforced to prevent the theft of valuable forest resources and crack down on crime. Enforcement of the laws against theft of forest products and illegal estrepement is particularly important.
◎ Forestland Management
The aim of forestland management is to make sure that the Bureau has forestland utilization under its control, as well as to ensure that the lands allocated for forest industry uses are actually applied for forestry purposes to protect our homeland security. The coverage of operations can be divided into forestland use management and forestland cadastral management.
Regarding forestland use management, the Forestry Bureau has implemented the principles of forestland use in accordance with Article 6 of "The Forestry Act", "Whereas land designated as forestland cannot be changed into other designations". Currently, with the exception of lands designated as public welfares or for public utilities by Article 8 of the Forestry Act, or designated for purposes such as policy enforcement approved by the Executive Yuan, in which leased forestlands are subject to case review, the forestlands managed by the Forestry Bureau will no longer be available for lease or exchange use. With regard to forestlands that are currently leased, guidance and advice will be offered to the lessee to adopt progressive aﬀorestation methods in accordance with the principles of balancing homeland security and farmers’ livelihoods.
Regarding forestland cadastral management, the Forestry Bureau completed the cadastral surveys and land registration of the national forest compartments in 2009. Property registers will be recorded for each of the registered lands to ensure careful management in accordance with the provisions of the "State-owned Asset Property Register Management Guidelines".
In response to the arrival of the digital era, the Forestry Bureau has actively introduced a geographic information system and digital measurement technology, as well as establishment of the "Forest Administrative Management System" recently. Information about forestland images and status of leased lands can be identified and analyzed through this system so as to achieve precise forestland management.
◎ Forest Patrol, Protection, and Management
To protect the 1.61 million hectares of national forestland under its jurisdiction, the Forestry Bureau has divided the area into patrol zones, established patrol boxes, and appointed dedicated staff to protect and manage each zone and class according to the distribution of the forests. Furthermore, the Bureau has implemented forest protection and management responsibility to strengthen forestland patrol to prevent the occurrence of illegal activities and disasters by application of high-end technology in forest protection as well as patrols, to reduce forest damage to the lowest level.
Since 2007, the eight forest administration offices under the Forestry Bureau have formed a "Forest Patrol Task Force" to conduct 5-day mountain patrols at unspecified time and areas to reinforce the crackdown on illegal activities deep within the mountains and bolster forest protection. Due to the success of implementation, the Task Force was awarded the "2015 National Sustainable Development Award ‒ Execution of Sustainable Development Action Plan Merit Award" by the Executive Yuan.
To improve the efficiency of forest protection operations, the Bureau has developed the forest protection and management network information system and integrated it with a geographic information system, a global satellite positioning system, wireless transmission, and cloud computing in order to establish the internet-based Patrol and Protection Information Platform, which is the first system in the world to integrate MOTORTRBO digital wireless transmission with the GOOGLE EARTH network image platform to offer a wireless real-time position transmission system. The system stores all sorts of forest protection and management information and strengthens the real-time monitoring and deployment of protection for personnel to smooth the path to emergency relief and perambulate or crack down on illegal land development or logging violations. If any illegal estrepement or logging activities are found, such cases will be transferred to the prosecutors for investigation, while the forestland will be swiftly revoked and the buildings on the land will be demolished in accordance with the current laws and regulations. Forest recovery and aﬀorestation operations will also be conducted based on the characteristics of the forest zone to ensure that the forestland can carry out the public functions of homeland security, environmental protection, and water retention.
Furthermore, according to the "Work Plan of Community Integration to Strengthen Forest Protection", the local residents’ knowledge of the mountain terrains and constructions as well as their love for the forests is proven beneficial for society, and under the concepts of "loving, protecting and conserving the forests", local residents can help patrol the neighboring mountain regions and assist the government in forest protection and crackdown on illegal logging. In communities where such practice has achieved success, the community is now developed towards the goals of "mutual co-existence and prosperity" and "increasing job opportunities for aboriginal residents". The forest administration oﬃces will also regularly promote the ideas of loving, protecting and conserving forests in the nearby primary and high schools to ensure that conservation concepts take root in the next generations. Communication channels are also being established with tribe and church leaders, community development associations, and environmental protection organizations to ensure cooperation against illegal logging and achieve public consensus towards the protection of forest resources.
◎ Forest Fire Prevention and Relief
Among the forest disasters that occur in Taiwan, forest fires are the most dangerous and damaging. In addition to utilizing such methods as electronic media, print media, bulletin boards, and sending workstation personnel to advocate precautions against fire in mountainous areas, the Bureau has established nationwide fire hazard monitoring stations, conducted regular maintenance of the firebreaks and forest paths, removal of fuel from roadsides and preparation of ﬁreﬁghting equipment, and has established a nationwide wireless radio system. The Bureau even introduced the "Incident Command System (ICS)" and trained an Incident Command Elite Task Force to reinforce firefighting operations and improve ﬁreﬁghting performance and coordination mechanisms.
Furthermore, in conjunction with the forest police, intensive patrol routes will be scheduled to strengthen inspections and patrols in ﬁre-prone areas, as well as monitor phone calls in specific areas to uncover malicious arson cases in time. Meanwhile, with the forest adoption by local aborigines and the employment of fire patrol teams in mountain patrol and firefighting, forest fires can be prevented together. Moreover, communication with the National Airborne Service Corps of the Ministry of the Interior is also being strengthened, and regular aerial surveillance, maintenance, and joint exercises are performed to establish an aerial firefighting system in which different departments that specialize in different techniques work hand-in-hand to combat forest fire hazards in the shortest time to protect Taiwan’s forest resources.
◎ Protection Forest Management
Protection forests are forests reserved for special public welfare in accordance with the Forestry Act. Currently, Taiwan has 11 types of protection forests, accounting for a total area of 467,673 hectares, amongst which water conservation forests and the soil erosion prevention forests account for 430,000 hectares, which is nearly 94% of the protection forests. The other nine types of protection forests are sand erosion prevention forests, windbreak forests, landscape forests, ﬂood prevention forests, tidal ﬂood prevention forests, rock-fall prevention forests, ﬁshery forests, natural conservation forests, and healthcare forests.
To carry out protection forest management, the Forestry Bureau has stipulated the "Regulations for Protection Forest Management", and "Methods for Protection Forest Works". In accordance with these regulations and methods, regular reviews are conducted on the management of the protection forests, including their organization of cadastral information. In conjunction with the actual needs of the environment, reviews are also conducted to evaluate the addition or delisting of state-owned and privately owned protection forests. The Bureau also actively communicates with local governments and residents to coordinate management approaches and strategies so as to facilitate protection forest management and ensure the public functions of the protection forests.
Last updated on:2017-11-21