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Reforestation and Forest Products Utilization



It was decided on a meeting held by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2007 that the total forest coverage in member countries would increase by 20 million hectares before 2020. As an APEC member, Taiwan therefore begun promoting green afforestation projects in 2008 and has continued to strengthen afforestation in hill lands and plains. Through such endeavors, Taiwan has increased its forest coverage and reduced carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, thus allowing Taiwan to fulfill its commitment to the APEC policies, do its part as a member of the global village, and contribute to the mitigation of the global greenhouse effects.

◎ National Forest Afforestation and Cultivation

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Taiwan’s national forest afforestation is focused mainly on water conservation, homeland security and economic functions, while restoration mostly concentrates on landslide areas, overdeveloped lands, forest fire areas and thinned forest areas, so as to restore the deteriorated and gapped lands to its natural forest state and provide the future generations with natural environmental resources. In addition, the cultivation of the existing artificial forests shall be stepped up to improve forest state, develop quality wood materials, and establish a sustainable forest industry. From 2008 to 2015, 6,805 hectares of deteriorated national forestland were restored and 81,193 hectares of such forestland were cultivated. In 2016, it is estimated that 600 hectares will be restored and 5,700 hectares will be cultivated. For the period of 2017 to 2020, plans are in place to restore 2,300 hectares and cultivate 14,050 hectares.

◎ Coastal and Outlying Island Afforestation

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The dune field, grass-covered land, land depressions and beef woods showing signs of deterioration in coastal protection forests will be prioritized for works such as sand-keeping, vegetation and the planting of a multi-layered forest. The final goal is to build "green corridors" along Taiwan’s coasts. In addition, in outlying islands such as Penghu, Kinmen, Lianjiang and Xiaoliuqiu, trees are being planted annually beside highways, and on public lands forests are being built to help to develop low carbon recreational industries. From 2008 to 2015, 1,026 hectares of coastal and outer- island afforestation were completed, with another 65 hectares scheduled to be completed in 2016, and 234 hectares more from 2017 to 2020.

◎ Hillside Incentive-driven Afforestation

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Through reward incentives which encourage afforestation, forest resources, homeland security and water conservation efforts may be enhanced and goals such as green landscaping, increasing forest carbon sequestration, forest resources development and natural disasters reduction may be achieved. From 2008 to 2015, 4,538 hectares of hillside incentive-driven afforestation were completed, with 385 hectares scheduled for completion in 2016 and another 1,650 hectares planned for the period of 2017 to 2020.

◎ Plain Afforestation

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Since the promotion of the "Plain Landscape Afforestation and Green Landscaping Plan" in 2002, the Bureau has actively offered guidance to farmers and agricultural companies to conduct afforestation in uncompetitive agricultural lands and fallow sugarcane fields. In 2008, the "Regulations for Plain Afforestation Direct Payment and Seedling Distribution" was stipulated to promote plain afforestation in agricultural lands with low possibility of restoring farming, marginal lands with unfavorable production conditions, lands released by Taiwan Sugar Corporation, lands announced by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to be suffering from severe land subsidence, and polluted agricultural lands announced to have completed pollution treatment.
Regarding the public lands belonging to universities, sporadic spaces around government buildings, and marginal lands, the Bureau has stepped up efforts to conduct green landscaping of these spaces so as to improve the environment quality of the metropolis and improve the urban ecological landscape. Six years after completion of afforestation and cultivation, or one year after green landscaping, control of the land will return to its previous responsible agency.
In addition, the Bureau has integrated the resources of the local communities to organize a diversity of tree planting activities to allow people to participate in tree planting and green landscaping. Through the community "nodes", the ideas can be spread to the entire country to build a natural, beautiful green environment to achieve quality living and improve residential life.
From 2008 to 2015, 18,383 hectares of plain afforestation and green landscaping were completed, 615 hectares were scheduled for completion in 2016 and another 400 hectares for the period of 2017 to 2020.

◎ Artificial Forest Management

The sustainable management of artificial forests and the ecological conservation of natural forests are the main focuses of forest management. Reasonable artificial forest management should classify the forests into different scales, stipulate long-term aims based on the environmental, economic, social and cultural considerations, and achieve these aims through management and cultivation measures. With the development of international environmental protection issues, the future utilization of wooden materials will ultimately be based on artificial forests. Therefore, besides continuing to strengthen the conservation of natural forests, a more active approach must be taken for artificial forest management so as to face the current management difficulties and take new opportunities and challenges.

◎ Sustainable Forestry Production

Wooden products are closely connected to our daily lives. Almost every building, furniture, paper, and indoor decoration requires the use of wooden materials. Due to the high mountains, steep slopes and complicated geological structure of Taiwan, mass logging activities are not feasible, and therefore the development of forest industries should focus on increasing the "quality" instead of "production yield". To create healthy and quality forests for the sustainable production of wooden materials, the Bureau has launched an investigation of the nation’s artificial forests under its jurisdiction. With an eco-friendly mindset and through systematic planning, the wood materials produced through forest thinning shall gradually fulfill the demands of Taiwan’s relevant industries such as construction, paper-making, and mushroom farming, at a slow but steady rate. Such a method shall help to strike a balance between resource conservation and utilization, thus building a low-carbon mountain-village economy with a highly efficient use of resources.
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◎ Revitalizing the Bamboo Industry

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Taiwan has about 130,000 hectares of bamboo groves, primarily consisting of six economic bamboo species, such as Phyllostachys makinoi, Dendrocalamus latiflorus, Phyllostachys edulis, Acanthophyllum pungens, Bambusa dolichoclada Hayat, and Dendrocalamopsis oldhami, which can be used in a variety of ways and are of excellent quality. Due to the shifts in material demands, however, bamboo was being replaced by concrete, steel and plastic products, resulting in the decline of the bamboo industries. After the 921 earthquake in 1999, in order to assist the recovery of the bamboo industries, the Forestry Bureau integrated the resources from the industrial, government and academic sectors to establish the "Bamboo Charcoal Industry Strategic Alliance" to use research, development and innovation to guide the development of the bamboo industries. Over 300 new items, production technology and equipment were developed involving the use of bamboo (charcoal) and the applications included textile, construction materials, food products, environmental improvements, medical healthcare, and electronic components. The annual profit of these industries can reach up to 3 billion New Taiwan Dollars.
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In addition, to establish a sound, reasonable and fair customer order, the first set of bamboo charcoal certification standard in the world was stipulated in 2004 to promote the CAS mark certification of bamboo charcoal. In 2010, "Taiwan Bamboo Charcoal" group registered its trademark and improved the product value and image of the domestic charcoal products and other charcoal processed products. In 2014, the Bureau began to promote a domestic exquisite bamboo product industry structure which integrated tier 1 (production), tier 2 (processing) and tier 3 (marketing) industries to create marketing channels for bamboo products with different regional characteristics and create new business opportunities for the bamboo industries in Taiwan.
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◎ Production and Marketing of Innovative Forest Products

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To increase the added value of artificial forest products and promote efficient utilization of domestic products, the Bureau has systematically developed technology for the use of afforestation species, such as Japanese cedar, Indigenous Cinnamon, Sapindus, Acacia, Melaleuca, and Mahogany, to develop innovative cultural products such as products using laminated boards, furniture and other handicraft. The wooden waste materials can also be used in renewable industries such as the development of biomass energy, synthesis of resins, pellet fuel and agricultural materials. The special components found in tree bark, branches and leaves, and the fruits can also be used to develop wood essential oils and phytoncide beverages for medical and healthcare applications.
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The Bureau also offers guidance to areas with rich bamboo resources, such as Hsinchu, Nantou and Pingtung, to establish forestry cooperatives. Based on the premises of sustainable production and management, the forestry farmers may engage in autonomous integration to propose feasible product development, financial and marketing plans while the government will assist in the matchmaking and cooperation between the farmers and the forest industries. From production to processing to sales, a comprehensive industry chain and traceability system may be established to transform and develop the conventional labor-intensive forest industries into a diversity of exquisite and technology-intensive industries.
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Visit counts:1945 Last updated on:2017-11-22