More than 100 people walked under indoor artificial trees and on wooden boards mimicking forest trails with green plants alongside them and sounds of insects in the air, as they learned about Taiwan’s forests and nature conservation in a public exhibition at Huashan Creative Park in Taipei yesterday afternoon.
In celebration of the Republic of China’s centenary and the UN’s International Year of Forests, the Forestry Bureau opened an exhibition on Friday to share with the public the history, challenges, policies and future prospects of forestry in Taiwan.
At the opening ceremony, Forestry Bureau Deputy Director-General Yang Hung-chih (楊宏志) said that because of the unique geological environment in Taiwan, 58 percent of the country’s land was covered with forests, so forests have always linked together life on the island and thus hold treasures of cultural, social, economic and ecological benefits.
Yang also said the exhibition would introduce the diversified aspects and roles of forests, not only the ecology of abundant species, land security and recreational usage, but also their important roles in maintaining water sources and carbon sequestration — the capturing of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The exhibition is divided into eight sections by topic, such as the technology of aerial photography and remote sensing; 100 recommended forest trails and 18 National Forest Recreation Areas; forestry culture and eco-friendly products; biodiversity; as well as other issues pertaining to ecological engineering and threats from invasive alien species.
Basic facts about Taiwan’s ecosystem were revealed, telling visitors there are about 950 million trees, more than 5,300 species of animals and plants, an average of 2,510mm of rainfall per year (about 3.44 times more than the world’s annual average) and that forests holds 26 percent more water than farmland in the country.
Visitors enjoyed a hands-on experience to understand how aerial photography and remote sensing functions in natural resource and disaster investigations. Numerous colorful photographs, samples and videos of animals and plants from forests were displayed, as well as handmade artifacts made of wood, sponge cucumber, seeds and other natural materials. Some visitors gazed at terrain models while guides explained the design and actual effects of different types of fish ladders.
To emphasize the concept of forest protection and carbon reduction, all exhibition displays and stages were made from recycled materials and could be recycled after use, the bureau said.
The exhibition is free and runs through Saturday. It is open from 9:30am to 6pm. Lectures and activities for parents and children will be held throughout.
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