Four islets in the Penghu archipelago are expected to be designated a national park this year in an effort to protect their land and marine resources, government officials said on Monday.
The Construction and Planning Agency’s Marine National Park Headquarters announced the plan in its work schedule for this year, published on its Web site on Thursday.
The plans mainly focus on setting up a marine national park around the islets of Siyuping (西嶼坪), Dongyuping (東嶼坪), Siyi (西吉) and Dongyi (東吉).
The move will protect geological features of the islets and the unique village clusters and architecture developed to weather the typical windy and rainless climate, the park headquarters said.
It said the four islets were built up from basalt eruptions on the sea floor in the period between 10 million and 14 million years ago and were the nation’s oldest example of basalt volcanic geology.
The seasonal winds and sea currents that affect the South China Sea — including a branch of the Kuroshio Current — interact with each other around the Penghu Islands, creating ideal conditions for a subtropical coral reef cluster and reef rock biological system with high biological diversity, the park headquarters said.
Because of the importance of the natural and human resources there, the government must strengthen its management of the area, and the establishment of a “four southern Penghu Isles national park” was the best way to achieve this goal, it said.