Mainstreaming of Taiwan Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (TPSI) in line with Taiwan Ecological Network (TEN)
Lead organization: National Dong Hwa University
Participating organizations (IPSI members): Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture; National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (NPUST); Chinese Society for Environmental Education (CSEE); Environmental Ethics Foundation of Taiwan (EEFT); Fuli Farmers Association; Hualien District Agricultural Research and Extension Station (HDARES), Council of Agriculture; International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF); National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (YunTech); Observer Ecological Consultant Co.; Society for Wildlife and Nature (SWAN) International; Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB), Council of Agriculture; Taiwan Ecological Engineering Development Foundation (EEF); Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation (TOAF)
Participating organizations (non-IPSI members): Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA); Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute (TESRI), Council of Agriculture
1. Background and goals
In 2015 Taiwan Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (TPSI) was established as a national multi-stakeholder partnership network to promote the Satoyama Initiative across Taiwan. The first draft of the National Strategic Framework (Figure 1) for Promoting the Satoyama Initiative in Taiwan was proposed by NDHU in 2014 and a revised comprehensive TPSI Strategic Framework was adopted by the Forestry Bureau in 2015. The overarching goal of TPSI was set to build up a national multi-stakeholder partnership network in which stakeholders could consolidate their complementary strengths, resources, assets, and knowledge for solving problems in a holistic and synergistic manner.
Implementation of TPSI from 2014-2017 was comprised of two main stages: (1) pilot implementation phase of 2014-2015 when NDHU was commissioned by the Forestry Bureau to lay out the foundation of TPSI, and (2) extension implementation phase of 2016-2017 when the Forestry Bureau and NDHU partnered to implement a two-year-long TPSI extension project.
In 2016, through the joint efforts of NDHU and the Forestry Bureau, four regional networks (TPSI-N, TPSI-W, TPSI-S, and TPSI-E) were established for regional capacity building and nation-wide exchange of on-the-ground experiences with other practitioners. Since then, conducting one- or two-day regional workshops arranged by each of the regional networks throughout the year (a total of four workshops per year) became a tradition bringing together diverse participants from local community organizations, government institutions, NGOs/ NPOs, and academia.
During 2014-2017, ‘think global’, ‘adapt national’ and ‘act local’ activities, as outlined in TPSI Strategic Framework (Figure 1), have been happening simultaneously and cross-complimenting each other.
— ‘Act local’ concept has been realized through two main types of events: capacity building workshops for government officials and regional networking activities of TPSI (TPSI-N, TPSI-W, TPSI-S, and TPSI-E). Specialized workshops and conferences proved successful in bringing the concepts of eco-agriculture and the Satoyama Initiative into the discourse between Taiwan’s agricultural (e.g. HDARES) and nature conservation sectors (e.g. the Forestry Bureau and its district offices), as well as stimulating discussions within each government agency. At the same time, field trips, keynote speeches and on-the-ground experience sharing have been providing unique opportunities for interaction and cooperation across different levels, sectors and localities to further strengthen TPSI network.
— Policy research and knowledge enhancement under the ‘adapt national’ concept have been primarily focused on efforts towards completing a cross-domain governance discussion on establishing a ‘Forest-River-Village-Sea’ green conservation network guided by the principles of the Satoyama Initiative and eco-agriculture.
— Knowledge-sharing by TPSI members at annual Global IPSI Conferences and Regional Workshops in conjunction with domestic events with invited international experts have been reflective of the ‘think global’ concept. Learning from and engaging in IPSI activities has allowed not only to achieve the two targets of TPSI Strategic Framework (‘Addressing issues of SEPLS and formulating solutions’ and ‘Conservation and revitalization of SEPLS’) domestically but also share Taiwan’s experiences with other partners around the globe.
By the end of 2017, a wider inclusion of ecological, especially biodiversity-related, component into TPSI activities as well as mainstreaming of the Satoyama Initiative into Taiwan’s national policy were among TPSI’s main challenges. In addition to it, despite the evident success of promotion of the Satoyama Initiative in Taiwan, the Forestry Bureau couldn’t help but point out the dangers of intense land-use pressure caused by the high population density on a small island of Taiwan. There was an urgent need for a comprehensive plan to restore fragmented ecosystems, create connectivity between different landscape elements and promote eco-friendly resource use. Hence, the ‘2018-2021 Taiwan Ecological Network’ (TEN) was called on to accomplish this task.
TEN was proposed by the Forestry Bureau as a new cross-sectoral project based on the cooperation between inter-ministerial agencies – under the Council of Agriculture, Taiwan. In 2018, it was approved by the Executive Yuan along with its four-year budget of USD 750,000. The first objective of TEN was to consolidate the ecological survey data of the previous years to identify the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Taiwan. A special focus was on the KBAs outside the Central Mountain conservation corridor that traditionally is a home to the majority of Taiwan’s protected areas and national forest areas. The next objective was to engage in protecting and connecting these KBAs by the means of promoting eco-friendly agriculture under the concept of the Satoyama Initiative in agricultural areas, as well as developing east-west wildlife-friendly corridors using rivers, forests and roads to connect important ecosystems between the Central Mountain region and coastal areas. The main conservation target of TEN is to revitalize and preserve Taiwan’s SEPLS so as to reach the vision of ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’ under the Satoyama Initiative and the 2050 vision for biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Establishment of TEN and its six perspectives (Figure 2) marked a shift from traditional protected areas conservation approach towards the one based on recognizing rural areas as a link for restoring the balance between natural and urban systems in Taiwan. Moreover, the project highlighted a fundamental role that SEPLS play in biodiversity conservation through promotion of sustainable agricultural practices and revival of rural communities. Figure 3 shows the relationship between the Satoyama Initiative, IPSI, TPSI, and TEN.
In 2018, after the initial three years and three months of TPSI development (2014-2017), the ‘2018-2021 Mainstreaming TPSI Project’ was introduced in line with TEN (‘2018-2021 Taiwan Ecological Network’). The following goals were outlined:
(1) continuing to promote five operational tasks under TPSI Strategic Framework (Figure 1), namely: international participation, policy research, knowledge enhancement, capacity development, and on-the-ground activities;
(2) promoting TPSI with the help of eight district offices under the Forestry Bureau to facilitate the ‘capacity building and on-the-ground practices’ objective nation-wide;
(3) integrating and supporting promulgation of TEN.
In 2018, during the first year of ‘2018-2021 Mainstreaming TPSI Project’, expansion of communication and exchanges between northern, western, southern, and eastern regions of TPSI continued when the Forestry Bureau and NDHU invited three more institutions – DILA, TESRI and NPUST – to act as exchange bases for the TPSI-N, TPSI-W and TPSI-S, respectively. NDHU was deemed to remain the base for coordinating TPSI-E exchange activities (Figure 4).
3. Expected outcomes
‘Act local’: capacity-building and on-the-ground activities
Further expansion and deepening of TPSI:
— Various workshops will continue to be held to improve the administrative planning and project implementation capabilities of public administration professionals, practical planning and on-the-ground capacities of local practitioners, and to strengthen TPSI members’ ability to discuss and communicate with colleagues at home and abroad;
— Organizing strategic workshops for the Forestry Bureau’s eight district offices on promoting the integration of the Satoyama Initiative into TEN;
— Continuing to organize TPSI/ IPSI case study discussions and report writing workshops, assisting in putting up exemplary case studies from the Forestry Bureau’s eight district offices as well as from other TPSI members on the upcoming TPSI webpage of the Forestry Bureau’s TEN website, and submitting a renewed TPSI case study report to IPSI website;
— Organizing TPSI-N, TPSI-W, TPSI-S, and TPSI-E regional workshops for capacity building and exchange among regional bases;
— Cooperating with Taiwan ’s IPSI members on various projects, for example, conducting a workshop on the exchange of practical experiences between the Satoyama Initiative and environmental education carried out together with CSEE at the annual TPSI members conference.
Adapt national: policy research and knowledge enhancement activities
Strengthening of the satoyama concept and implementation framework through improved information channels:
— Cooperating with each TPSI region (TPSI-N, TPSI-W, TPSI-S, and TPSI-E) on creating a comprehensive database in relation to each regional TPSI member organization;
— Developing and launching TPSI webpage of the Forestry Bureau’s TEN website, featuring IPSI introduction and case study reports, TPSI origin, history, membership, regional case studies, Q&A, etc.;
— Analyzing specific characteristics of SEPLS in TPSI-N, TPSI-W, TPSI-S, and TPSI-E, discussing and making strategic recommendations for integration regional TPSI efforts into TEN.
Think global: international participation and exchange
— Submitting an updated version of TPSI 2018-2021 case study report to IPSI website, co-authored by NDHU, the Forestry Bureau and its eight district offices;
— Participating in relevant IPSI international conferences, learning from the international experience and sharing TPSI progress;
— Inviting international scholars and experts from the fields related to the Satoyama Initiative and agro-biodiversity to visit Taiwan.
4. Actors and task sharing
Key stakeholders involved in the ‘2018-2021 Mainstreaming TPSI Project’ include project supporter, project coordinator, Taiwan’s other 12 IPSI members, and non-IPSI members. The Forestry Bureau is the project supporter as well as the key policy-making authority responsible for promoting the Satoyama Initiative in Taiwan. NDHU acts as the project leader and coordinator. Both the Forestry Bureau and NDHU are IPSI members. Twelve other IPSI members involved in the project include: government (3 members: Fuli Farmers Association, HDARES and SWCB), NGOs/ NPOs (7 members: CSEE, EEF, EEFT, ICDF, Observer Ecological Consultant Co., SWAN, and TOAF) and academia (2 members: NPUST and YunTech). Non-IPSI members include other organizations and local practitioners from TPSI-N, TPSI-W, TPSI-S, and TPSI-E, including those that serve as regional exchange bases – DILA and TESRI. They participate and share their on-the-ground experiences at TPSI conferences and workshops.
5. How the activity relates to the IPSI Strategy and IPSI Plan of Action
The collaborative project focuses on mainstreaming TPSI in line with the national policy – TEN – as well as enhancing the networking partnership among governmental institutions, on-the-ground practitioners and experts. Hence, the collaborative project is closely related to IPSI Strategic Objective ‘four’ and its priority actions ‘a,’ ‘c’ and ‘e’ of IPSI Plan of Action.
6. Resources, funding
The financial resources for conducting this collaborative project are mainly from the Forestry Bureau. The budget for this four-year collaborative project is USD 750,000.
7. Monitoring and reporting
Annual project progress reports will be submitted to the Forestry Bureau and will be available online (in Chinese). We will continue sharing important findings and progress to IPSI Secretariat and at related events.