Many national forests are located upstream of watershed areas. Due to intrinsic conditions such as: young geological age, fragile geological features, and steep terrain; unfavorable factors such as typhoons, torrential rains and earthquakes; and abnormal climate changes such as frequent heavy rainfall in short intervals, national forests are plagued by many types of soil disasters. These include landslides, debris ﬂow and landslide dams, and they threaten the lives and property of the people living midstream and downstream.
Throughout the years, "watershed management" has come before "erosion control" in terms of watershed management and erosion control. This is to protect midstream and downstream villages, including their public facilities, and as a part of the "erosion-proof " afforestation work. To truly build forests that are erosion-proof, the principles based on four implementation strategies have been used : "Overall Governance and Planning - Implementing Review and Verification at Different Stages", "Strengthening Engineering Supervision - Improving Construction Quality", "Continuously Monitoring and Warning - Implementing Disaster Management" and "Improving Governance Methods - Ecological Energy Saving and Carbon Reduction". These focus on the principles of “overall planning", "disaster prevention", "quality management" and "ecological conservation" to conduct integrated watershed conservation and restoration of national forests.
◎ Integrated Watershed Conservation and Restoration
Watershed conservation and restoration in national forests mostly include overall governance and investigation planning, soil erosion prevention, landslide maintenance and prevention, and emergency disaster response for the watershed areas. The administrative concepts are based on the comprehensive administration of the upstream, midstream and downstream regions of watershed areas. In conjunction with planning by the relevant competent authorities, the administrative assessment indicators for national forest watershed areas (including the 7 factors of "secured objects", "relief ratio", "geology", "green coverage", "soil erosion", "landslide ratio" and "number of potential debris flow torrents") are used to analyze the results. According to the results, the medium and high risk watershed areas in national forests will be the important governance areas, and dynamic reviews will be conducted to determine the priority issues, depending on the actual needs. The administration will also be classiﬁed into diﬀerent levels and annual budgets will be allocated to conduct watershed conservation and restoration, as well as disaster prevention operations to achieve the aims of reducing sediment disasters, reducing the scale of ﬂoods and increasing the recovery of water and soil resources in national forests.
The Forestry Bureau has also actively developed ecological engineering methods in national forests. Ecological engineering being the core of its management schemes, the Bureau has promoted annual wooden construction projects, establishment of fish ways, and vegetation engineering of landslide etc., so as to allow the administrative and ecological conservation eﬀorts to complement each other. In addition, artificial forest thinning methods are also applied to watershed conservation and erosion control work and forest roads maintenance operations in order to achieve the aims of carbon emission reduction in the disaster prevention forests.
◎Disaster Management and Monitoring
To improve the overall response capacities of the national forests, the strengthening of disaster preparation, disaster response and disaster recovery is very crucial. During the flood seasons every year, the Forestry Bureau will convene disaster prevention conferences to review and check the open contracts, machinery and human resources, disaster seminars, disaster prevention drills, and important engineering execution cases, for deployment in time of emergencies of the forest district offices. During typhoon and torrential rain periods, the forest district offices will cooperate with the emergency response task force of the Bureau to conduct disaster relief operations depending on the severity of the disaster. After a typhoon or torrential rain, personnel will be sent to investigate the damage. Information on the changes in landslides in watershed areas can be obtained through satellite image interpretation to facilitate the conducting of emergency handling and disaster recovery.
In addition, regarding the frequent incidence of landslide Dam disasters in national forests, the Bureau has order the "Landslide Dam Standard Operating Procedures" to strengthen overall response and efficient handling. These procedures provide a basis for the rapid determination of the scale of the landslide dam, reasons for formation, and the scope of influence. Monitoring equipment such as battery powered, handheld satellite imaging devices, rainfall measurement and water level measurement equipment are also developed. At the same time, the Bureau also established the "National Forest Disaster Management and Landslide Dam Monitoring System", which uses "monitoring automation", "proactive notification", "open information" and "automated report" methods to handle the landslide dam disasters and conduct response operations in national forests
◎ Forest Road Management and Maintenance
Forest roads are key to the management of Taiwan's forestry as they provide the necessary means for conducting afforestation, forest preservation, forest conservation, forest regeneration operations, forest ecological tours, and relief operations for forest ﬁres and mountain disasters, as well as cracking down on illegal logging and hunting activities. These roads also provide means of transporting goods for the tribes and mountain farmers located along the road, or for military purposes.
Taking into consideration the overall need for forest management, forest road information is surveyed and updated every 3 years. This is done to evaluate the maintenance, abolishment, closing or adjustment of the roads due to factors such as natural disasters, road safety, forest recreation, ecological conservation, forest preservation and forest administration. Currently, the Bureau maintains 82 existing forest roads with a total length of 1,650 km, among which 16 are main forest roads with a total length of 309 km, 39 are secondary forest roads with a total length of 963 km, and 27 are ordinary forest roads with a total length of 378 km.
To ensure smooth traﬃc and slope stability, eﬀorts are taken to promote road safety for the forestry patrol oﬃcers, the general public and tourists. Improvement and maintenance plans are stipulated to implement the necessary handling and maintenance of the forest roads under jurisdiction, while regular patrols are conducted in accordance with the patrol and maintenance system. During typhoons, monsoon rains, or earthquakes (both before and after), patrols are strengthened to reduce the threats of forest road foundation collapses or landslides and to ensure homeland security and traﬃc safety.
Last updated on:2017-11-21