The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed the Ocean Basic Act (海洋基本法), which aims to make Taiwan a marine nation that strives toward ensuring sustainable use of the sea and its resources, as well as a facilitator of collaboration on international marine affairs.
The act stipulates that the central government should publish a white paper on ocean policy and marine pollution control within one year of the law’s enactment, and revise it regularly based on its results, and domestic and international developments.
Government agencies at all levels should review their marine policies based on the white paper and correct any action that contradicts the central government’s policy, the act says.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The government should educate the public about the ocean and make information on the ocean more accessible; build a marine industry with high added value; ensure sustainability in marine ecology and resources by promoting environmental friendly measures; and engage in exchanges in international marine affairs, it says.
The government should guarantee and protect the “marine rights” of citizens of all ages and ethnicities, the act says.
The government should allocate and make good use of domestic resources to form policies to tackle marine pollution at its sources, thereby facilitating the nation’s efforts to combat pollution, it says.
It should approach the planning of land utilization in a way that is prudent and conducive to mitigating marine disasters, as well as pushing marine remediation efforts, the act stipulates.
Pending the president’s signature, the act also designates June 8 as National Oceans Day to coincide with a resolution carried by the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development proclaiming the day as World Oceans Day to raise public awareness of marine conservation.
The government is responsible for streamlining the efforts of relevant agencies on marine affairs and the formulation of regulations on utilization of the marine resources, and must seek to achieve balance between the nation’s operations and the challenges it faces at sea, the act stipulates.
The government should engage in international collaborations on protecting, developing and sharing marine resources in a manner that is sustainable, mutually beneficial, and respects history and the nation’s sovereignty, it says.
The government should be generous in planning a “marine budget” and take any measure necessary to ensure that the budget is sufficient to cover relevant policies, the act stipulates.
To uphold and advance the nation’s marine rights; ensure national and maritime security; and respond to major contingencies; the government should plan strategically and handle marine affairs with a global perspective, as well as redouble efforts when handling marine issues, thereby boosting the nation’s maritime power, it says.
The nation should foster the marine industry by introducing policies, including financial and taxation benefits, and cultivating talent, the act says.
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