Taiwan’s Achievements in Environmental Protection
  1. Establishment of an Institution: Taiwan has a comprehensive environmental administrative system. In 1987, the Central government established the Environmental Protection Administration for the primary mission of preventing pollution. In 1997, the National Council for Sustainable Development of the Executive Yuan was activated. As of today, there are 417 laws and regulations related to environmental protection. Within the next two years, a Ministry of the Environment and Resources, including sections of forestry, national parks, water resources, minerals, geology, geotechnical maintenance, special species, wet land, landscape protection, weather observation and forecast, will be established to integrate tasks for pollution prevention and nature protection.
  2. Environmental Monitoring: A total of 76 air quality monitoring stations have been set up since 1994. In addition, five PM2.5 Supersites and eight Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Station (PAMS) have been operating since 2002. In 2007, we had an agreement with NASA to be included in the Micro-Pulse Lidar Network and the Aerosol Robotic Network. Starting from 1976, Taiwan’s rivers, reservoirs, groundwater, and ocean have been closely monitored by a comprehensive water quality monitoring network which consists of more than 1,000 sampling stations. The Taiwan government owns profound capability and experiences in quality monitoring of all fields including air, water, groundwater and ocean.
  3. Environmental Impact Assessment: Taiwan passed the Environmental Impact Assessment Act in 1994, which requests all developers to conduct an environmental impact assessment for any of the 51 types of large-scale development projects. The assessment report should be reviewed and approved by the public before the project is launched. So far, there are around 1000 large-scale development projects underwent the EIA. In addition, the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required for major government policies, and five government policies had conducted SEA until today.
  4. Air Quality: The Taiwan EPA developed several administrative tools to control air quality, which includes emission permit, air pollution control fee, best available control technology (BAT), new vehicle model inspection, periodic vehicle inspection, fuel quality improvements, etc. The majority of the emission standards are consistent with those of the developed countries. The percentage of bad air quality days (PSI greater than 100) was reduced from 17.33% in 1987 to 2.87% in 2008, which shows a noticeable improvement.
  5. Water Pollution Treatment: The Taiwan EPA established a comprehensive water quality management scheme, with supplemental measures like permitting system, sewer system constructions, riverbed wastewater treatment, constructed wetland creation, and compensations for livestock farms’ relocation and implementation of no-farm zones. After years of efforts, the water quality has been improved and the segments of seriously polluted rivers were reduced from 13.2% in 2001 to 4.2% in 2008. Segments of non-polluted rivers increased from 61.7% in 2001 to 65.2% in 2008.
  6. Solid Waste Management: Approximately 99.9% of wastes are properly disposed of, including 97.6% with incineration. With the implementations of “Zero Waste”, “Mandatory Recycling”, and “Extended Producer Responsibility” programs, waste per capital dropped to 0.52 kilogram in 2008 from 1.14 kilogram in 1998. To better control the industrial waste flow, we utilized the GPS system into the “shipping, handling, storage, and waste disposal program. We also promote the industrial waste recycling, which the reuse rate hits 75%.
  7. Toxic Substances Management: A toxic substances management system was established to cover a total of 259 substances, which are deemed as toxic chemical. The environmental endocrine disrupters are also under control to protect the ecosystem. In addition, the “Toxic Chemical Disaster Prevention and Relief Program” was created to provide a step-by-step procedure in minimizing the potential or actual impacts caused by disasters. Besides, a “Toxic Disaster Prevention” handbook was published and distributed to the public in order to enhance their disaster prevention knowledge.
  8. Environmental Sanitation: The Taiwan EPA campaigned an all-citizen mobilization cleanup to improve the quality of built environment. It effectively helps dengue mosquito prevention and promotes public health. This year, the dengue cases dropped to less than 100 cases from peak 5,388 cases in 2002.
  9. Nature Conservation: Taiwan has spent many efforts on sustainability and nature conservation in the past years. Given the forest cover rate attains 60% on the island. Taiwan complies with international conventions to conserve the ecosystems, wild life species, natural landscape, geological resources and marine resources for our future generations.
  10. Sustainable development: To pursuit the sustainability consistently with the global trend, Taiwan is implementing five main environmental strategies: Restructuring to promote sustainability; Saving Energy and reducing carbon emissions to cool the earth; Recycling resources to achieve zero waste; Eliminating pollution and protecting the ecosystem; Cleaning up neighborhoods and promoting lifestyles of health and sustainability.