Mines that overlap national forests will not be given development permits, a Forestry Bureau official said yesterday, adding that a new formula for calculating the rental price of forest land is to be revealed next year.
Control Yuan Vice President Sun Ta-chuan (孫大川) and Control Yuan member Lin Ya-feng (林雅鋒) on Thursday criticized the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Council of Agriculture for their management of mines and national forests.
Their report said there were 13 mines — covering a total of 131 hectares — within national forests as of August.
However, the development of some mines stopped long after the miners’ land leases from the council came due, with some leases even passing their deadlines by more than six years, it said.
In renting out forest land to miners, the council charged unreasonably low rents — about 4 percent of the annual interest of the land value — without considering the “environmental cost” of the mining, the officials said.
Sun and Lin demanded that the two agencies re-examine their regulations regarding mining development to prevent disasters in the wake of over-exploitation.
“Most of the mines in national forests were granted permits long ago,” the bureau said on Friday in a press release. “The bureau will not give approval to new requests from mines that overlap national forests.”
Since 2014, the bureau had asked realty experts to reassess the value of national forest land by referring to the “market price” of adjacent land, bureau Deputy Director-General Yang Hong-chi (楊宏志) said yesterday, adding that the bureau has since increased rents by 50 percent.
The bureau has also initiated research on the environmental cost of mines and plans to announce a new formula for the rental of national forest land next year, he said.
According to Article 38 of the Mining Act (礦業法), agencies supervising miners can revoke their mining rights if they stop development for more than one year or do not begin exploitation two years after they obtain the permit.
The bureau plans to negotiate with the Ministry of Economic Affairs about phasing out mines in national forests, Yang said.
As an amendment to the act is to be reviewed in this legislative session, new regulations covering mines would be incorporated into the amendment after the two agencies arrive at a decision, Yang added.
Japanese lawmakers have been refraining from visiting China for fear of being arrested and not being able to return, while Taiwan is a popular destination, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported. As 120 Japanese Diet members visited Taiwan last year and fewer than 10 went to China, Beijing hopes that they could visit China more often, Japanese Ambassador to China Kenji Kanasugi was cited as saying during a meeting of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday last week. Kanasugi was in Japan to attend the Conference of the Ambassadors to Asian and Oceanian Countries and International Organizations, which was held on Thursday and Friday
A Singaporean social media streamer who goes by the pseudonym Kiaraakitty faked an egg attack by an alleged passerby during a livestream in Kaohsiung on Feb. 9, the city’s police department said on Saturday. The department was responding to the streamer’s claim earlier this month that a stranger had thrown eggs at her during a recent visit to Kaohsiung. Kiaraakitty is known for posting provocative content on livestreaming sites such as Twitch and Discord, as well as other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. She also posts on paid adult content Web site OnlyFans. In the video dated Feb. 9,
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HOT TOPIC: The Taiwan-born founder of a restaurant in the Japanese city is generally credited with creating the super spicy dish, which was originally intended as a staff meal For Taiwanese, ramen is one of the dishes that most represents Japan; for Japanese, its origins are in China. Then there is “Taiwan ramen,” which can only be found in Japan, but not in Taiwan. It is almost impossible to reach a consensus on the origin of any dish, but a brief look at its history might be helpful. Not many people who are not Japanese question whether ramen is really Japanese. Yet think about it — ramen is often unctuous and rich, unlike most other must-try Japanese foods familiar to foreign visitors to the country, such as sushi and soba noodles. According