Taiwan's Environmental Struggle

Book description

Taiwan experienced a highly successful economic transformation in the last 50 years that produced one of Asia’s genuine ‘miracles’ of modern development, in terms of improvement in per capita income and overall quality of material well being for its citizens. The process, though, involved rapid industrialization and urbanization, and breakneck mass consumption, that inevitably resulted in rapid escalation in degradation of the island’s fragile air, water, and land, and produced some of the worst environmental pollution to be found anywhere in Asia

This book examines the causes of Taiwan's environmental predicament, engaging in Taiwan's unique geological, geographical, demographical, political, industrial, historical and economic circumstances. In addition, Jack Williams and Ch'ang-yi David Chang assess the efforts of the government, NGOs and private citizens to create a "green" environmentally sustainable island, with a high tech economy based on the silicon chip, the backbone of Taiwan’s highly successful IT industry. Finally the authors discuss what can be done to improve Taiwan's environmental future.

 As the first commercially available book in English on Taiwan’s environmental problems this is an invaluable read for students and scholars interested in environmental studies, sustainable development and the island of Taiwan.


Table of contents

  1. Routledge contemporary Asia series
  2. Contents
  3. Figures
  4. Tables
  5. Preface and acknowledgements
  6. 1 A crowded island
    1. Role of geography3
    2. Role of the economy
      1. Taiwan’s human resource
      2. Taiwan’s first technological and social transformation
      3. Taiwan’s second technological and social transformation
      4. Taiwan’s third technological and social transformation
        1. 1940s
        2. 1950s
        3. 1960s
        4. 1970s
        5. 1980s
      5. Taiwan’s fourth technological and social transformation
        1. 1990s
    3. Role of politics
    4. Conclusion
  7. 2 The perils of development
    1. Types of human waste
      1. Inert and semi-inert substances
      2. Biologically active wastes
      3. Hazardous wastes
      4. Atmospheric emissions
    2. Types of degradation
      1. Air pollution
      2. Water pollution
        1. Solid waste (garbage)
        2. Sewage
      3. Hazardous (toxic) waste
      4. E-waste
      5. Noise pollution
      6. ‘Eye’ pollution
    3. The assault on land, flora, and fauna
      1. Land
        1. Supply of land
        2. Degradation of land
        3. Slopeland cultivation
        4. The betel nut
        5. Taipei Basin
      2. Flora
      3. Fauna
      4. Fishing
    4. Global environmental issues
      1. Global warming
      2. Ozone layer depletion
      3. Acid rain
      4. Risks from nuclear power
    5. Conclusion
  8. 3 Back from the brink
    1. Environmentalism and the environmental movement
      1. Nature conservation
      2. Pollution
      3. Nuclear power
    2. NPOs and their role
      1. Government-sponsored organizations
      2. Civil society organizations
      3. Animal protection organizations
      4. The Taiwan Environmental Protection Union
    3. Political parties and their roles19
      1. Pan-Blue (Fan Lan) Alliance
        1. Kuomintang (KMT or Nationalist) Party
        2. People First Party (Ching Ming Tang)
        3. New Party (Hsin Tang)
      2. Pan-Green (Fan Lu) Alliance
        1. Democratic Progressive Party (Min Ching Tang)
        2. Taiwan Solidarity Union (Taiwan Tuan-chieh Lien-meng)
        3. Green Party Taiwan
      3. A divided island
    4. Government and its role
    5. Government structure for environmental protection39
      1. National Council for Sustainable Development
    6. Environmental Protection Administration47
      1. Evolution of the TEPA
      2. Organization of the TEPA
      3. Comprehensive planning
        1. Basic Environment Act
        2. Three-year environmental action plan
        3. Public education efforts
        4. Environmental impact assessment
      4. Water quality protection
      5. Air quality protection
      6. Solid waste management
      7. Industrial and toxic waste control
      8. E-waste control
      9. The ‘Ten Nightmares’
    7. Nature conservation
      1. National parks
        1. Kenting
        2. Yushan
        3. Yangmingshan
        4. Taroko
        5. Shei-pa (i.e. Hsueh-pa)126
        6. Kinmen (i.e. Chin-men)
        7. Makao (Magao)
        8. Dongsha Marine National Park
      2. Nature reserves
      3. Wildlife refuges and habitats
      4. National scenic areas
      5. Forest reserves
    8. Energy and Taiwan’s role in curbing global emissions
    9. Conclusion
  9. 4 Whose land is it?
    1. Land use issues in Taiwan’s mountains: the Central Cross-Island Highway and its impact1
      1. The upper Tachia River basin
        1. Impact on the natural environment
        2. Impact on the aborigines
        3. Impact on public attitudes toward land and resources
      2. Healing the wounds: the national land recovery plan
    2. Land use issues in the lowlands in the WTO era
      1. WTO and its impact
      2. The future of agriculture in Taiwan
      3. Ongoing environmental issues facing agriculture
        1. Land subsidence
        2. Water shortages
        3. Deteriorating water quality in reservoirs
        4. Pig raising and water pollution
        5. Toxic chemicals in soil and water
        6. Fisheries problems
    3. Conclusion
  10. 5 Reflections
    1. The environment: successes and failures
      1. Nature conservation
      2. Reducing air pollution
      3. Disposal of solid waste (garbage)
      4. Improving land use
      5. Meeting Taiwan’s energy needs
      6. Controlling GHG emissions
      7. Meeting water quality needs
      8. Meeting water quantity needs
      9. Disposal of toxic wastes
    2. Toward a green silicon island?
      1. Sustainable development
      2. Finding the right plan
      3. Counterpoints
        1. The Kuokuang Project
        2. FPG steel mill
    3. Taiwan’s future
  11. Notes
  12. Bibliography
    1. Useful websites
    2. Taiwan newspapers and journals (in English)
  13. Index

Product information

  • Title: Taiwan's Environmental Struggle
  • Author(s): Jack Williams, Ch’ang-yi David Chang
  • Release date: February 2008
  • Publisher(s): Routledge
  • ISBN: 9781134062829