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The climate issues in the region of Taiwan

12/18/09

By Pucong Han, Beijing China

Today I when to the Climate Forum with the rest of my classmates, and it was exciting to see the delegation from each country’s leader, particularly the prime minister Wen Jiabao from China and the president Obama from the United States.  They all announced the difficulties to reach an agreement and the opportunities for different countries to cooperate each other in climate change.  I am particularly interested in the opportunities of different parties in Copenhagen, because this is how they cooperate and reach an agreement to save the planet.  I am also excited to know that there is going to be a deal reached in Copenhagen tonight.  Right now, I am in front of my computer watching the DR channel and wait for the climate deal.

This afternoon, I meet with one of the scientist professor from Taiwan, Jiantai Chen, who works in the Industrial Technology Research Institute.  We had a wonderful talk about the global climate change, his projects and the current climate issues in Taiwan.  It is good to know that the current situation in Taiwan and the voice from the general public about their research programs.  I will briefly introduce their current situation.  Based upon Professor Chen, the current Taiwan has three large research institutes, which located close to the farm land and a few rivers.  These three institutes directly use the water from the river, which reduce the water supply to the agriculture plants and farm lands close to the institutes.  After washing their chemical waste by the fresh water from the river, these institutes directly pipe the water into the river.  For the most times, the water will be treated in some way that fulfill the  requirements, however, these few institute also pipe the waste directly into the water without treatments at night when people do not notice.  As a consequence, the environment around these few areas have changed and the fishes from the river are no longer consumable.   These few institutes at the same time also create severe social problems.  Professor Chen introduced during the climate forum that the gaps between different communities around the area become more significant.  Lower income people and higher income people are conflict in these areas.

All these facts have been noticed by the people who live in these areas, particularly the farmers close to the research plants.  However, their voice always been ignored by the government.  Juxtapose with the GDP contribution of the farm land, the GDP that the research institute contributed is 900 times more.  As a result, the government will always choose to improve the institute instead of hearing the voice from the farm land to cut down their projects.  The farm land shirks significantly, and, as a result, only 40% of foods can be supplied by the farm land in Taiwan, and 60% of food supply must to import from other countries, particularly from the United States.  Comparing this figure with the figure from the main land of China, which 95% of foods can be fulfilled by its own land, and with the figure from the United States, which the farm land can supply 125% of its own needs, the region of Taiwan is facing a significant challenges on its agriculture and food supply.  Professor Chen’s project emphasizes on improving the rural areas and farm land using the latest technology.  I sincerely wish that he can successful finish this project and save the farm land in the region of Taiwan.

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