With a love for learning and a love for the Earth, and three hours a week, a group of older students turned an abandoned plot of land in their neighborhood into a wetland conservation site.
The group of 51 students at Shilin Community College held an eco-pond completion ceremony yesterday and promised to maintain the wetland even after their class is finished.
“Building the pond is only the beginning. With it I’m going to teach them how to be environmental educators and guide people through wetlands,” said Chen Te-hong (陳德鴻), head of the Society of Wilderness and the class teacher.
WETLANDS’ VITAL ROLE
Wetlands are an important source of nutrition for many types of plants, animals and insects, as well as an important habitat for them, he said.
“The damage done to wetlands is more severe than people think,” he said.
Fortunately in recent years more people are starting to pay attention to what they are doing to the environment, Chen said, adding that the concept of “land morality” is beginning to be spread.
“The idea of land morality is to let nature take over when it comes to ‘designing’ a green space,” he said.
For example, the constructed wetland that Chen’s class built doesn’t have carefully pruned trees and mown grass.
ACCORDING TO NATURE
“We are educated to think that orderly is the way parks should be, but we should provide an opportunity for the environment to evolve according to nature, rather than demanding that trees and grasses comply with human desires,” he said.
The student leader of the class, Liao Yong-song (廖永松), who is in his 60s, said the class was very meaningful to him and that he wished to become an “ecosystem maintainer” and guide at the site after he finishes the course.
“We have planted many things that should originally have existed here [if the land hadn’t been damaged],” Liao said.
Most of the students were surprised to learn what nature should be like, how much damage humans have done to it and why the survival of small animals and plants is directly linked to human survival, he said.
“The food chain is like a pyramid with humans at the top. If the life forms on the bottom — which support the beings in the middle — don’t survive, then humanity will face collapse,” Liao said.
“When we try and conserve and protect nature we are actually protecting ourselves,” Liao said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,