From the environmental Impact Assessment of the Suhua Freeway to protests against Doppler radars to former US vice president Al Gore receiving the Nobel Prize -- this year was an "eventful year" for environmental issues, the Taiwan Environmental Information Center said yesterday.
In light of these developments, the center has invited Taiwanese to review and vote on their Web site for their "Top Ten" environmental news stories.
The results will be published after Dec. 31 and sent to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) "for reference for the coming year," Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) secretary-general Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) said.
The poll is divided into domestic and international news stories, with 15 environmental issues to vote on in each list.
The domestic list includes the proposed construction of the Suhua Freeway linking Ilan and Hualien, a project that has received much criticism from environmentalists, such as the Taiwan Green Party's Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲), for its low utility, environmental impact and burden on the national budget.
"It is being used as an electoral tool by both the pan-green and the pan-blue camps," Pan said.
Similarly harmful to the environment, Pan said, was Formosa Plastic Group's proposed steel plant in Yunlin County, which would increase the group's greenhouse gas emissions from a quarter of the nation's total to one third.
The Doppler weather radar in Tainan County's Chiku Township (七股), which detects precipitation and frontal systems in the Taiwan Strait, likewise received much media coverage, with several protests held against it this year.
Former TEPU chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (
The EPA has countered that the emission levels were within the administration's guidelines.
On the international stage, energy conservation and climate change dominate the list and include Gore sharing the Nobel Peace Prize for his battle against global warming.
"The poll is meaningful in that it gives both the government and society a representation of what people care about most on environmental issues," Ho said.
This is the seventh year the poll has been held, Ho said, adding that this year the center would also hold a discussion forum open to the public at the Taipei NGO Center on Dec. 26.
Visitors can participate in the vote at http://test.ngo.org.tw/vote/enews2007/
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