An environmental group yesterday selected 24 short films that will be used to help promote ecotourism in Taiwan and presented a prize of NT$100,000 (US$3,451) to the producer of the film that was judged the best in the ecotourism competition.
The first-prize winner was Lu Ying-liang (盧盈良), whose film was about the scenery at Jinguashi (金瓜石) in the greater Taipei region.
Lu said he decided to record his impressions of the area on film because he was amazed by the scenery and touched by the hospitality of the people there.
A total of 93 films, all three to five minutes long, were entered in the competition, which was organized by the Chi Sing Eco--conservation Foundation.
In a 2009 campaign, the Taipei-based foundation and several local bed-and-breakfast owners recommended nine ecotourism routes that they wanted to see promoted around Taiwan, with Lin I-chen (林意楨), the foundation’s chief executive officer, encouraging the public to “travel to pristine or not-so-popular areas [to enjoy the environment].”
“We don’t want people to just pay a quick visit to these places. Apart from taking pictures, people can learn a lot from the environment,” he said, adding that ecotourism is a good way to explore the richness of Taiwan’s flora and fauna.
“If people do not know the environment, how can they appreciate it?” asked Lin, an academic on environmental issues.
As to allegations that an increase in tourism would damage the environment, Lin said that, on the contrary, it could help raise environmental awareness and thus reduce damage to the environment.
Among the directors of the 24 short films selected in the competition was Nana Chu, 20, a student at National Taiwan University of Arts, who said she spent two days filming in the high mountains at Shuei-Pa National Park.
Chu said it was an unforgettable experience.
“I even walked in the forest barefoot to get closer to nature,” she said.
The other competitors said they enjoyed the opportunity to explore the beauty of Taiwan.
The organizers said they hoped to foster a greater appreciation of the natural environment and greater awareness of environmental protection issues.