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Sat, Aug 04, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Lin Chun-yi appointed new ambassador to the Gambia

DIPLOMACY Lin, who resigned as head of the EPA earlier this year, hopes to boost ties between Taiwan and the West African nation


Former Environmental Protection Administrator Lin Chun-yi (林俊義) has been appointed Taiwan's ambassador to the West African state of the Gambia.

Lin, 61, said in an interview that he accepted with great pleasure his new assignment to serve the country.

Lin, a biologist and environmental activist, said he will focus his efforts on improving bilateral relations, particularly on promoting civilian, economic and cultural exchanges.

Lin is no stranger to Africa. During his service with a Christian church in the US, Lin recalled, he had been assigned to Tanzania, Kenya and several other African states to help establish biological sciences educational facilities.

"I also took the opportunity to conduct biological and ecological research there. I have many fond memories of my life and work in those countries. After leaving Africa, I still harbored a special affection for the continent," Lin said, adding that he was excited about his new mission.

Lin said that although he is a novice in the diplomatic world, he would devote his full energy to fulfilling his duty and contributing to Taiwan's diplomatic cause.

He said he has been endeavoring to obtain more knowledge about Gambia through the Internet. Noting that Gambia upholds freedom and democracy and has a stable investment climate, Lin said he will push for increased Taiwan investment in the West African nation after taking his new job.

Lin also said that local entrepreneurs should consider investing in the electronics, power, agricultural, aquacultural and livestock sectors in Gambia.

Touching on the heavy human cost and property damage inflicted by Typhoon-triggered mudslides in Taiwan's mountainous regions in the central county of Nantou and the eastern county of Hualien, Lin said he was very saddened by the typhoon tragedy.

Lin said he sounded warnings more than 10 years ago against over-exploitation of mountainous regions and Taiwan's lax soil and water resource conservation efforts.

"We are now paying the price for our past mistakes. In the face of the recent disaster, we must pay more heed to environmental protection and forestation. Otherwise, we will encounter much more adversity," he noted.

Lin resigned from the top EPA post early this year to take the blame for the handling of the wreck of the Greek cargo ship MV Amorgos which contaminated coral reefs off the southern coast.

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