To promote the autonomous hunting management of indigenous peoples across Taiwan, the Pingtung Forest District Office of the Forestry Bureau, the Laiyi Township Indigenous Traditional Hunting and Cultural Association, and the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST) held the fourth "Hunter Conference on Indigenous Tribal Autonomous Hunting Management" on December 2-4, 2021. NPUST President, Chang-Hsien Tai, Forestry Bureau Director of Conservation, Yu-Chuan Lo, Laiyi Township Mayor, Tjaqasiyan Tapuljaljuy, and Chairman of the Indigenous Traditional Hunting and Cultural Association, Ming-Hung Lo, expressed their best wishes before the event. Almost 200 interested attendees gathered for the event, including government authorities, scholars, and tribal community members. They spent two days sharing their experiences and exchanging viewpoints on several issues, to come up with practicable guidelines for indigenous tribal autonomous hunting management and the future of sustainable resources.
The hunting groups that attended this year's conference included 35 hunting group representatives from counties and cities across Taiwan—a new record-high turnover. Experts were also invited to discuss the draft of the Hunting Regulations for Indigenous Peoples, helping tribal communities understand the three stages of future development in autonomous hunting management. They also talked about the different methods of using precision traps and safety guidelines for hunting rifles. Hunting groups also drew from their experiences with autonomous hunting management to share the differences in various hunting treaties and their implementations, hoping to learn more from one another.
As Forestry Bureau Director of Conservation Yu-Chuan Lo expressed in her opening remarks, the Forestry Bureau has actively promoted pilot programs for indigenous tribal autonomous hunting management in recent years. At present, there are already 11 related programs underway. Major tasks have been completed under the concerted efforts of government authorities, academic teams, and indigenous tribal communities. These include the monitoring and data analysis of wildlife population, self-reporting of game hunted, counseling and assistance for tribal hunting organizations, and various educational training events. By doing so, the Bureau hopes to realize self-discipline, autonomy, and sustainability in hunting management.
The Pingtung Forest District Office of the Forestry Bureau further expressed its hopes that the exchange of knowledge during the three-day conference may draw from traditional indigenous forest wisdom. With modern technology, we can manage our country's natural forest resources together. By attending to the livelihood of tribal communities and the transmission of cultural knowledge under the principles of sustainable forests, we can build a better future for mountain communities, where people can reconnect, find balance, cooperation, and harmony with nature.