President Tsai Ing-Wen attended the 2021 Presidential Tree-Planting Ceremony of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, R.O.C., at Chaojing Park in Badouzi, Keelung, today (12). Together with the local residents, teachers, and students of Badouzi Elementary School, President Tsai planted native Taiwanese trees suitable for the local environment. This ceremony symbolizes the planting of hope for this area that was once devoid of ecological vitality, but is now being restored into an interwoven landscape of mountains and rivers, plains and seas. The ceremony served as a testament of the joint efforts to protect natural resources and create a sustainable ecological landscape.
President Tsai Ing-Wen, accompanied by Chen Chi-Chung, Minister of the Council of Agriculture; Lin Hwa-Ching, Director General of the Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture; Tsai Ching-Hwa, Political Deputy Minister of Education; Lin Yu-Chang, Mayor of Keelung City; and Legislator Tsai Shih-Ying, participated in the 2021 Tree-Planting Month activities of the Forestry Bureau, COA, at the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology and Chaojing Park in Badouzi, Keelung City. In addition to planting saplings to symbolize hope and mending of the habitat, the guests also experienced the lifestyle aesthetics nurtured by nature through listening to stories about the local environment, and appreciating the works about the ocean created by the teachers and students of Badouzi Elementary School and mothers from the local community.
President Tsai began her speech by acknowledging the Forestry Bureau's plan to designate March as "Tree-Planting Month" to promote the planting of native tree species in a fun and lively manner. From primeval forests in high mountains, ecological afforestation in the foothills, to urban green areas, and coastal windbreaks, "planting suitable trees for the right place", can help create high-quality habitats and maintain Taiwan's biodiversity. Maintaining forest cover can help conserve water and offset carbon emissions, which is a major concern to all countries in the world in the face of climate change.
President Tsai further pointed out that the Badouzi area in Keelung is a representative landscape of "mountains, forests, rivers, and oceans all-in-one", where the society, industry, and ecosystem are an integrated whole. Therefore, when we think about the environment, we must not forget that we are also part of it. Furthermore, the government has launched the "Salute to Taiwan's Mountains" and "Salute to Taiwan's Seas" policies to encourage people to get closer to nature. The government will also continue to promote more collaborations in the environmental conservation sector between the central and local governments, and with the private sector.
The Forestry Bureau stated that this year Badouzi was specifically chosen as a planting site because of its unique landscape that includes forests, rivers, oceans, and people settlements. In particular, forests are a major ecosystem on land, while the coast is an important ecological and productive environment for the sea. These natural resources provide ecosystem services to the local inhabitants, including nutrient cycles, biological habitats, and food production, etc. Furthermore, they also provide recreational and cultural value, and are inseparable from the lives the people living in this area.
According to the Forestry Bureau, local fishermen are constantly reflecting on the depletion of resources and promoting sustainable fishing practices in their daily lives. Hsin-Yung Lin, a veteran sea captain, even took the initiative to form an "environmental protection fleet" to remove floating garbage. Last year, the Forestry Bureau joined hands with the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology (NMMST) to promote the "Captain at the Helm - Badouzi Ecosystem Lifestyle Project." In addition, they also published "The Coast is Clear Today - A Chronicle of the Life in the Badouzi Ecosystem" to record and share these touching stories. The Bureau hopes that the presidential tree-planting ceremony will help raise the nation's ecosystem protection awareness. Under the appropriate management of social-ecological-productive landscapes, we must preserve the country's biodiversity and implement the Satoyama Initiative.
During the event, Fu-Yin Lin, lauded as a poet-sea captain, recited his modern poem "Son of the Sea" to convey the interwoven beauty of nature and humanity. In addition, he also hoped that poetry could awaken the public's respect for the environment, so that more people can acknowledge that a sustainable ecological landscape is our "way of survival". The President also chatted with the captains and traditional female divers; they discussed their observations of the natural environment and eco-friendly fishing practices over the years.
The Forestry Bureau said that even a small area of greenery in a metropolitan area can create a habitat; everyone is encouraged to make a practical contribution to ecological conservation by planting trees. March is the most suitable month for planting trees. During the Tree-Planting Month, the Forestry Bureau, in conjunction with county and municipal governments, held tree planting events and tree maintenance activities across Taiwan. There was also a seedling donation event that earned the enthusiastic response of the public throughout Taiwan. We welcome everyone to join us! At the same time, there are also corporate organizations that adopt land for reforestation to implement ecological optimization. We invite more companies to join hands for the public good. We also hope that through the Tree-Planting Month, more people will pay attention to environmental issues. Furthermore, we encourage the public to take actions to care for the survival and sustainable use of animals and plants in the habitats across the mountains, plains, rivers, and oceans while enjoying the natural resources, so that we can turn our homeland into a beautiful green country and achieve our ecological afforestation goals.