Aichi Biodiversity Targets: 10-Years of Efforts in Biodiversity Showing Outstanding Results in Taiwan, Interdepartmental Cooperation to Link Road Network and Green Network

As 2020 marks the deadline for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture hosted the "2020 Conference on Biodiversity in Taiwan: Achievements and Future Outlook" from November 27th to November 28th. Representatives from industry, government, and academia who have contributed to the conservation of Taiwan's biodiversity over the past 10 years were invited to share their experiences and achievements in biodiversity conservation in Taiwan, and to learn about the challenges and opportunities of the post-2020 biodiversity framework, so that Taiwan's biodiversity conservation can keep pace with the times and with the international community.
Since 2017, the Forestry Bureau has been promoting the "National Ecology Green Network Establishment Project" to coordinate inter-departmental and inter-agency efforts to mend Taiwan's wildlife habitats and maintain biodiversity. Therefore, this occasion was also used to sign a cooperation agreement with the Directorate General of Highways and the Freeway Bureau, both under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and the Endemic Species Research Institute (ESRI) on the morning of November 27th. The cross-regional cooperation will help promote the sustainable development of safe animal road networks, protect habitats and connect ecological networks, and achieve the goal of jointly building a sustainable environment in harmony with nature.
The Forestry Bureau hosted the two-day "2020 Conference on Biodiversity in Taiwan: Achievements and Future Outlook" today (27th), inviting overseas experts and scholars to participate in the discussions. In addition, a video was used to introduce the challenges and opportunities of the post-2020 biodiversity framework, the global implementation of biodiversity innovation policies, and the conceptualization of nature's multiple values from the perspective of the Satoyama Initiative, with the aim of keeping Taiwan's biodiversity conservation up-to-date and on track with the international community. Representatives from central and local government departments, academic research units, and enterprises were also invited, including the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ocean Affairs Council, Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan, Academia Sinica, Taipei City Government, New Taipei City Government, National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Dong Hwa University, Carrefour Taiwan, and Taiwan Power Company. These representative were invited to participate in discussions on topics including "Taiwan's Biodiversity," "Assessment and Service Payment of Ecosystem Service Values," "Infrastructure Mainstreaming," "Local Government Mainstreaming," "Education Promotion and Civic Participation," and "Corporate Participation." The purpose of the discussions was to illustrate how biodiversity conservation can be implemented in policy and execution, as well as to share the experience and results of biodiversity conservation with the entire nation.

10-year Aichi Biodiversity Targets Only Partially Achieved, 8 Targets Facing Transformation for the Future
Biodiversity represents the convergence of all life phenomena on Earth. The "Convention on Biological Diversity" has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of the resources for biological diversity, and the fair and reasonable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. The Convention is concerned with the balance between the economy, society, and the environment, and its 2050 Vision, "Living in Harmony with Nature" aims to promote the awareness, protection and rational use of biodiversity so that everyone can sustainably enjoy the benefits of biodiversity.
In 2010, at the tenth Biodiversity Conference of the "Convention on Biological Diversity," the Parties to the Convention adopted a Strategic Plan for the period 2011-2020, namely, the "Aichi Biodiversity Targets." The Targets aim to achieve the vision of the Convention by mainstreaming biodiversity, reducing the rate and pressure of biodiversity loss, and promoting the sustainable use and equal sharing of the benefits of biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) under the United Nations released the fifth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook this year on September 15th. Overall, most of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have not yet been met, and only six of the targets have been partially achieved, including the prevention and control of invasive species, increasing and improving protected areas, implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, implementation of national strategic plans, sharing and application of knowledge, and increasing funding and expanding resources. The report also pointed out that it is not too late to slow, halt, and ultimately reverse the current downward trend in biodiversity, and outlined eight areas in which humans need to make the sustainable development transition for the future: Land and Forests, Sustainable Agriculture, Food Systems, Fisheries and Oceans, Cities and Infrastructure, Freshwater, Climate Action, and an integrated framework for global "One Health."

Taking Stock of Taiwan's Biodiversity Promotion Experiences, Outstanding Results across Industry, Government, and Academia
Although Taiwan is not a Party of the Convention on Biological Diversity, due to the responsibilities and needs as a global citizen to protect its country's biodiversity, Taiwan has been working to conserve biodiversity in compliance with the Convention. In 2001, the Executive Yuan approved the "Biodiversity Promotion Plan," which has since been rolled over into the "National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan." After years of efforts from all sectors, Taiwan's achievements in biodiversity preservation and conservation compare favorably with those of other countries.
Huang Chin-Cheng, deputy minister of the Council of Agriculture, pointed out that the central government and local governments have been promoting the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for a long time, and there have been visible results in many aspects, such as the forest coverage rate's increase to 60.71%, which is 30% higher than the global average. Terrestrial protected areas account for 19% of Taiwan's terrestrial area, higher than the 17% set by the Aichi Biodiversity Target. In addition, the shrinking of the natural coastline and the expansion of significant subsidence have slowed down, actual implementation of species conservation is taking place across the agricultural, forestry, fishery, and livestock sectors, while biodiversity-related research, the number of biodiversity databases, and long-term monitoring and information disclosure projects are all better than the global level of performance. The Council of Agriculture (COA) has long focused on environmental conservation and ecological equilibrium. In order to stabilize food supply and slow down the loss of biodiversity, the COA has formulated a sustainable management system for agriculture, forestry, and fishery. Biodiversity has been incorporated into many of the COA's policy implementation objectives, such as strengthening the research on the ecological functions of agricultural landscapes and biodiversity hotspots, establishing a compensation mechanism with sustainability as an indicator, and expanding the target scope of land-based green environment payment; devoting more attention to farmland on ecological hotspots, establishing a national regulatory system for the collection, conservation, and utilization of the genetic resources of soil organisms, animal, and plant species; integrating invasive exotic species surveying, monitoring, removal, and educational promotion; strengthening the investigation, assessment, management, and law enforcement capacity of fishery resources and habitat environments.
Chen Yen-Po, political deputy minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), said that the Ministry's affairs are closely related to people's lives, and it oversees more than 6,400 kilometers of highways across the country that pass through various types of terrain, including coastal regions, plains, hills, and mountains. In the past, road construction had always been based on traditional people-centric methods where environmental obstacles were taken down to suit construction needs. In recent years, due to the rising awareness of environmental protection and conservation in Taiwan, there has been a gradual shift to a design concept that respects the coexistence with nature and the environment. The principles of road corridor use for avoidance, impact mitigation, and compensatory substitution are actively applied in road planning, design, and construction. Specific environmentally friendly practices are adopted to address environmental degradation issues such as roadkill hotspots and invasive exotic species. Some examples of conservation measures include installing animal crossings and animal pathways in the foothills of central Taiwan that are leopard cat roadkill hotspots, developing an active roadkill warning system, conservation promotion activities to protect land crabs crossing the road on Provincial Highway 26 in Kenting, and butterfly crossings on national highways. We are looking for effective and long-term solutions to mending the fragmentation of wildlife habitats caused by road development, in order to protect Taiwan's precious ecological resources.

Linking the Transportation Network and the National Ecology Green Network to Establish an Inter-Departmental Cooperation Agreement
Lin Hwa-Ching, Director General of the Forestry Bureau, further explained that the National Ecology Green Network originated from the foundation of the Satoyama Initiative. The foothills, plains, and coastal areas outside the national forest working circle are not only densely populated by people, but are also the habitats of nearly 60% of protected wildlife. The habitat of many endangered Satoyama species, such as the leopard cat and grass owl, have been fragmented by human development, resulting in isolated populations and a lack of safe and stable food resources, and severely impacting their survival. Therefore, the Forestry Bureau began to implement the "National Ecology Green Network Establishment Project" in 2017, which proposes the policy direction for the mending of fragmented habitats. Starting from the national forest working circle, we hope to connect the green belts to the eastbound and westbound rivers and create "forest, river, plain, sea" corridors" to form a national biosafety network. The Forestry Bureau invited relevant ministries and agencies, including agriculture, transportation, ecology, and forestry, to set up an inter-departmental platform. It started by taking inventory of core species and defining hotspots for conservation, and then proposed corresponding strategies for ecologically high-risk areas. For example, linking farmland, fish farms, subsidence areas, and coastal habitats of endangered species with eco-friendly production and ecological afforestation. At the same time, the Forestry Bureau is also working with the MOTC to strengthen the construction of eco-friendly corridors for existing railroad and highway traffic facilities in order to build ecological corridors that allow biodiversity to exist unimpeded.
A healthy ecological environment is the foundation for maintaining biodiversity and supporting social and economic development. Maintaining the vitality of ecological corridors and their ecosystem service functions is the shared mission of the competent authorities presiding over environmental resource conservation and infrastructure. Witnessed by Political Deputy Minister Chen Yen-Po of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and Deputy Minister Huang Chin-Cheng of the Council of Agriculture, the Directorate General of Highways (MOTC), the Freeway Bureau (MOTC), Endemic Species Research Institute (ESRI), and the Forestry Bureau signed the "National Ecology Green Network Cooperation Agreement." These departments will work together to build an ecological network cooperation platform for the sustainable development of a sound road network, engage in cross-agency cooperation for the sustainable development of highway systems and ecological green networks, share highway use and ecological survey resources, promote the linking of the ecological corridor network, and promote cross-agency project cooperation and ecological conservation education and advocacy.
According to the Forestry Bureau, it is hoped that through this occasion, Taiwan's various government departments and agencies, local and overseas scholars, and enterprises concerned about biodiversity will gather together to review and take stock of Taiwan's experience in promoting biodiversity. At the same time, we will continue to build on the successes from the past and pass it down to the future, and continue with the post-2020 biodiversity promotion plan of Taiwan. We will share the results of the implementation and future development of Taiwan's biodiversity with the people so that they can fully understand the meaning and significance of biodiversity. In addition, we hope to forge a shared consensus on how to effectively mend the environment in which humans and nature can live in harmony through inter-departmental and cross-sector cooperation. The Forestry Bureau will also broadcast the entire event live on its official Facebook page "Forestry Bureau - TW Forest" and on the official Facebook page of the "2020 Conference on Biodiversity in Taiwan: Achievements and Future Outlook." Everyone, including those unable to attend in person, is invited to listen and enjoy the event online.
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Visit counts:197 Last updated on:2021-10-28