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Taiwan and Japan Collaborate to Safeguard Protection Forests and Establish a New Partnership for Ecological Green Networks

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201811/13
On November 12th and 13th, COA Forestry Bureau’s Hualien Forest office held the "Japan Protection Forest System Exploration and the Taiwan Protection Forest Management Status Forum" at the Dahan Institute of Technology. On the 12th, Director General Wakako Fujita of the Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove Affairs Administration Office in Kyushu, Japan and Dr. Takako Sasaki of Waseda University were specially invited to come to Taiwan to give speeches and share experiences on Japan’s protection forest management and forestry volunteer development. On the 13th, experts from Japan and event participants visited the No. 2618 windbreak protection forest in Hualien County, where through their own feelings and experiences, they shared on the benefits of forest ecosystem services, and stimulated the new direction of Taiwan's protection forest management in future.
The Forestry Bureau said that the protection forest is a unique system in forestry operations that exists in Taiwan and Japan. The protection forest regulations of Taiwan were enacted in the Japanese occupation era. After the enactment of the Taiwan Protection Forest Implementation Rules in 1907, protection forests began to be implemented. Many current systems and procedures are similar to the regulations in Japan. Protection Forests are a type of functional forests, a stricter management or even restrictive development is adopted based on social welfare purposes and the preservation of specific objects, where the aim is to enable the protection forest to fully fulfill the functions of soil and water conservation and natural disaster prevention.
For the forum, both the Japan and Taiwan side gave three keynote speeches respectively. The Japanese representatives were Director Wakako Fujita who introduced the "Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove Management" and "Experience Sharing on the Cooperation between the Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove and the Japanese Government", and Dr. Takako Sasaki of Waseda University, who gave a speech on "Japan’s Forest Volunteer Development –A case study of Tanocho Village of Iwate Prefecture ", and Dr. You Li-Fang of Dahan Institute of Technology was invited to act as the simultaneous Japanese interpreter onsite. The representatives of Taiwan were the Forestry Bureau’s Senior Technical Specialist Wang Yi-Jing of the Forest Administration Division and Section Chief Zhu Yi-Qian of the Protection Forest Section, they gave an introduction on the "Japan Protection Forest System Exploration and the Taiwan Protection Forest Management Status"; Director Yang Rui-Fen of the Hualien Forest District Office, as well as Mr. Li Min-Zhen and Mr. Wu Ming-Xun of the Conservation and Recreation Section gave speeches respectively on "Hualien Protection Forest Management Status", "National Forest Volunteer Development and Operation", and “Public-Private Sector Collaboration - Protection Forest Course Development Process”. The participants in the forum included about 150 people from the Forestry Bureau and various Forest District Offices, national forest volunteers, environmental education teachers, local Hualien NGOs, community residents who adopted protection forests, and university students.
In addition, the two Japanese experts and participants were taken on an onsite ecological tour to the No. 2618 windbreak protection forest, located on the north side of the "Chisingtan Scenic Area" on the beautiful coast of Hualien. This protection forest has been in place for 80 years since its implementation during the Japanese occupation period. It has blocked strong winds, wind-blown sand, salt damage, and storm surges for many years and is known as the "Great Green Wall" of Hualien. It has significant ecological importance as it has a rich biodiversity including 116 species of plants and 102 species of animals, as well as also being the northern boundary of the protected species black-winged kite in Hualien County. In the afternoon, the group visited the Fuxing Elementary School. Guided by Director Wakako Fujita, the students experienced the Japanese protection forest environmental education in action.
The Forestry Bureau added that in recent years, in order to change the situation of alienating the local communities from the protection forests due to the heavy control practices of the past, and to reconnect the people and the land, members of the public are encouraged to enter the protection forests, and learn about and experience their value. The management of protection forests and promotion of the high-quality environment of the protection forests will be strengthened so that the local residents of the protection forests will have the opportunity to share in the benefits of the forests fairly. The Forestry Bureau will also be gradually introducing external resources, and bring together the local protection forest communities or NGOs to jointly guard the protection forest. Furthermore, lead the people into the protection forests to participate in various experience activities to understand the multiple values of the protection forest. This year (2018), a total of 32 communities, NGOs, and companies, as well as schools participated in the protection forest environment maintenance and environmental education activities. In the future, Forest Bureau will also develop an innovative green tourism strategy with the theme of forest therapy in the protection forests, so that local residents can share the benefits of forest ecosystem services.
 
Protection Forest News Dictionary:
There are 525 protection forests in Taiwan, covering an area of ​​460,000 hectares. The forests have been planned into different categories according to different functions. There are 11 types of protection forests, including water conservation forests, soil erosion protection forests, sand prevention forests, windbreak protection forests, landscape protection forests, tide damage prevention protection forests, water disaster prevention protection forests, fishery protection forests, rockfall prevention protection forests, healthcare protection forests, and nature conservation protection forests. Among them, water conservation and soil erosion protection forests have the widest area coverage. The protection forest is no single function. As long as the protection forest maintains good forest coverage, it can serve many functions such as national land conservation to create a safe and stable living environment.
Mini Info File:
Japan’s Kyushu Niji No Matsubara Pine Grove (Protection Forest) and the pine groves of Miho no Matsubara, Shizuoka Prefecture, and Tsuruga, Fukui prefecture are called the three major pine groves of Japan, and have been designated as special destinations by the state. They are famous tourist attractions in Kyushu and also UNESCO world cultural heritages.
 
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