Wed, Nov 17, 2004 - Page 8 News List

A new path toward a sustainable economy

By Hsieh Huey-lian謝蕙蓮

A few days ago, the National Science Council delayed the comprehensive plan for a national technical program for an ecotech-nology and biodiversity bill aimed at land protection and recovery as well as disaster prevention. There have also been reports that all expenses allocated to ecotechnology projects by the Public Construction Commission were deleted by the legislature. This shortsightedness about national technological development and neglect of the importance of biodiversity is cause for concern.

Repeated flooding and landslides are evidence of the stupidity and shortcomings of only considering "security concerns" when fighting natural forces. Following the typhoons and flood disasters this summer, ecotechnology surveys were conducted in mountainous areas in central Taiwan and the upper reaches of the Tahsi River. Results show that ecotechnology has stood the test of nature.

But even though people have witnessed with their own eyes the efficacy of ecotechnology, engineering and ecological experts remain suspicious and refuse to accept this technology, which both addresses the safety of the general public and preserves and restores land.

Island nations cover smaller areas, have limited natural resources, frequent natural and manmade disasters and a sensitive environment. Island populations are therefore faced with unique and severe challenges. The only way to handle these challenges is to learn how to live in harmony with nature.

Ecotechnology is a matter of psychological approach. Based on a deep understanding of ecosystems, mankind has been able to reflect on the destruction of the environment, and this has given rise to ecotechnology. It includes ecological projects aimed at environmental safety and disaster prevention, and is based on ecological principles for preserving biodiversity and sustainable development.

The meaning of ecotechnology thus includes the adjustment and improvement of psychology, concepts and project-implementation methodology, including: minimizing construction requirements; integration of systems and environment; project life-cycle considerations; dredging water catchment areas to slow water flows, collecting rainwater, increasing seep-through and replenishing ground-water; using renewable energy; ; recycling resources; cutting down on carbon-dioxide emissions; maintaining bio-diverse habitats; using local materials; limiting new highways and using natural vegetation to protect hillsides.

Implementing ecotechnology is a way to show concern for those living in urban and rural areas, along the coast, in wetland areas, along rivers and on hill-sides. No project designed and implemented without being based on these ideas can be called an ecological project.

Ecotechnology is a cross-

disciplinary field that integrates aspects of engineering, ecology, the humanities, social studies and economics. More detailed aspects involve gathering data; assessing the economic effects on society and the way it improves the quality of life; visionary technical research and development; restoration of deteriorating land; the application of laws and regulations to expand ecotechnology and systems reviews.

This kind of integrated study works in concert with mankind's quest for comprehensive welfare. Without protection of the ecosystem, industries such as the optoelectronic, satellite information and biotechnology industries would have been but dreams.

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