Monday, May 26, 2008

Second Global Greens Congress

Green Party Taiwan's Su-hsin Tsui addressing the Global Greens Congress on 3 May 2008 in São Paulo, Brazil on the future of the Global Greens: Taiwan’s Perspective, Taiwan’s Role

A 22-member Green Party Taiwan delegation recently returned to the island from the second congress of the Global Greens that was held May 1-5 in São Paulo, Brazil. The first Global Greens congress was held in Canberra, Australia, in 2001, and produced the Global Greens’ Charter, while the main document to come out of the São Paulo Conference was 21 Points for the 21st Century.

The Global Greens is an organization comprised of over 80 members from nearly as many countries with its administration being divided into four regional groups – Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The most active members are Green political parties, but other civic organizations are members and the Global Greens seek to include all groups that subscribe to the core values of ecological wisdom, non violence, social justice, sustainability, respect for diversity and participatory democracy.

Five major topics discussed at the congress were sustainable cities, climate change, post-Kyoto, future of the Global Greens, and biofuels versus biodiversity. In addition to adopting the 21 Points, the congress passed resolutions supporting the peoples’ struggle in Tibet, ban on nuclear power as a response to climate change, and continued support for Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian activist who was running for president on the Green Party ticket when abducted more than six years ago.

Upon their return to Taiwan, the delegation held a press conference on Monday, May 12, which was quite well received by the press.

Robin Winkler, founder and director of the Taiwan Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, was active in the planning and execution of the visit. He broke his three- and a-half-year “boycott” of international travel to join the delegation. During a debriefing for Wild colleagues on 16 May 2008, he explained his recent involvement in the Green Party Taiwan:

Being punched by the head of Yunlin County’s Assembly while the manager of Formosa Plastic’s local plant looked on and facing ridicule and jeers from the media, Taiwan’s EPA and other government agencies was one of the more traumatic experiences of my life. It forced me to reconsider the strategies of the environmental and social movements in the face of such an organized, well-funded and anarchic alliance of government, elected representatives, business and academics.

“World wide the movements face similar problems, however Taiwan differs in that we are very isolated from the rest of the world – not the world’s multinational corporations or trade and investment delegations, but from a vast resource of dedicated people and organizations that will no longer allow the world to go on “business as usual”. These groups have a lot to offer Taiwan, and with our connections to Green Parties around the world, we may actually be able to bring some pressure on business and government in Taiwan to reform its ways and to open up to public participation in important issues.”

Also see:

Update on the Global Greens Congress
Hushan Dam at the Global Greens Congress

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rearranging of the deckchairs on the "Taiwan-EPA-atanic" ?

Changing of the guard or just rearranging of the deckchairs on the "Taiwan-EPA-atanic" ? The new Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister, Steven Shen, has vowed to work with outside groups claims the Taipei Times.

Yesterday saw the incoming President, President Ma Ying-jeou, sworn in and the return to power of the KMT. Last time round the KMT had a shocking environmental record and during the eight years of DPP rule not much seemed different in the EPA's attitude.

Outgoing EPA Minister, Winston Dang, while painting a rosy picture of his term can't get away from the fact that he bitterly disappointed most environmental groups with the handling of the reelection of EPA Commissioners and the Hushan Dam project, and the greenwashing of the global warming and emissions issue.

Will there really be a change of heart in the EPA or will they continue with the tradition of business first over the environment?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Update on the Global Greens Congress

Earlier in the month we informed our readers that a Taiwan delegation would be attending the Global Greens Congress in São Paulo, Brazil. The Global Greens are the international network of Green parties. The Global Greens held their second international congress in São Paulo, Brazil from May 1st-4th.

Today's edition of the Taipei Times runs an article outlining the Taiwan delegation's involvement at the recent Global Greens Congress.
See: Groups emphasize "green diplomacy".

Also see:

Second Global Greens Congress

Monday, May 12, 2008

Korean Fairy Pitta researcher visits Huben

Dr. Scott Lin of TESRI and Kim Eun Mi of the Jeju Wildlife Research Center measuring a Dusky Fulvetta.

South Korean Fairy Pitta researcher, Kim Eun Mi, of the Jeju Wildlife Research Center visited Huben as a guest of the Fairy Pitta Research Project headed by Dr. [Scott] Lin Reuy-shing from May 3rd-9th.

In February our colleagues at Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association sent two delegates to the Annual Jeju Wildlife Research Center Workshop on Jeju Island, South Korea. Korea's Jeju Island, along with Taiwan, Southern Japan, and Southern China are the breeding areas for the IUCN Red Listed Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha. Dr. R.S.Lin of the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute (TESRI) and Mark Wilkie of Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association delivered presentations on the Fairy Pitta in Taiwan.

Two of the goals of the trip were to establish cooperation on Fairy Pitta research between Korean and Taiwan researchers and to propose the use of standardised research methods for better comparison of regional data at an international level to help facilitate an international conservation plan. Following the Jeju Workshop, South Korean Fairy Pitta researcher, Kim Eun Mi, was invited to come and spend a week in Huben with Dr. Lin and his research team and to learn research methods and techniques used on Fairy Pitta in Taiwan.

Apart from spending time in the field and at TESRI, Kim delivered a presentation on Fairy Pitta research in Korea at the Fairy Pitta Cafe to the local people of Huben. She also made a brief visit to Tatachia, Yushan National Park with Lin and Wilkie.

Taiwan's Fairy Pitta arrive several weeks before Fairy Pitta arrive on Jeju Island, South Korea, in late May. This gave Kim the opportunity to work in the field with Taiwan's newly arrived Fairy Pitta before returning to Jeju for the start of the Korean Fairy Pitta breeding season. Kim will be incorporating some of Lin's research methods and techniques into her research this season to help standardise research methods for better comparison of regional data at an international level which will contribute to the establishment of an international conservation plan. A global Fairy Pitta census is critical to the formation of any international Fairy Pitta conservation plan. A Taiwan Fairy Pitta survey team is planing to visit Jeju in June 2009 to assist with a Fairy Pitta census of Jeju Island. To date, Taiwan is the only country within the Fairy Pitta breeding range to have conducted a complete national census. Plans for holding an international Fairy Pitta symposium in Jeju to coincide with the census are presently being discussed.

Also see:
Hushan's Fairy Pittas at the Jeju Wildlife Research Center Workshop in South Korea

The destruction continues

The destruction continues. Some recent photos taken of the Hushan Dam construction site.

Also see:
Hushan Dam site visit: Photos

Recent Images of Hushan

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hushan Dam at the Global Greens Congress

The Global Greens is the international network of Green parties and political movements. Global Greens are holding their second international congress in São Paulo, Brazil from May 1st-4th. Green Party Taiwan has sent a twenty-two member delegation to the congress. Amongst the Green Party Taiwan delegates is Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association director, Robin Winkler. Robin will be helping to spread the word internationally on the Hushan Dam and the plight of the Fairy Pittas and Taiwan humpback dolphins. Wild acts as the secretariat for the Taiwan National Coalition Against the Hushan Dam and Matsu's Fish Conservation Union.

See: Global Greens Congress

Also see:

Second Global Greens Congress