The Green Party Taiwan, tree protection volunteers and several civic groups yesterday said that because the Ministry of Justice is about to tear down the Huaguang Community (華光) in Taipei, it should conduct a survey of old trees in the area.
They said the ministry will clear the area between Lane 51 and Lane 53 of Hangzhou S Road Sec 2 and return the land to the National Property Bureau today, but recent activity has already damaged trees.
The groups urged the government to conduct a survey on local trees and protect them as cultural assets for Taipei residents.
The only information about trees in the area was gathered by volunteers and because they could not enter private property, some trees have not been documented, Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) of the Green Party Taiwan said, adding that survey results on cultural assets and records of government meetings are not available to the public.
A woman surnamed Chang (張) from the volunteer unit said that although the government agreed to conform to the Taipei City Tree Protection Bylaw (台北市樹木保護自治條例), which protects trees taller than 15m and with trunk girths of more than 250cm, many rare species and shrubs will be destroyed if the bylaw is not amended to protect shorter tree species.