New Taipei City has put eight more old trees under municipal protection, including a Ficus nervosa estimated to be 250 years old, bringing the number of protected trees in the municipality to 1,050.
The announcement on Wednesday followed the city council’s passage last year of a municipal ordinance on tree conservation, after environmentalists and tree lovers demanded measures.
The ordinance said the city should protect “valuable” trees that are more than 50 years old, have cultural, historic or scientific value, or whose girth exceeds 90cm as measured 1.3m above the ground.
Photo: Chiu Shu-yu, Taipei Times
The Urban Landscape Section of the city’s Agriculture Department said that it regularly inspects protected trees for health and carries out constant improvements to their environment.
Cutting protected trees is forbidden unless absolutely necessary, and while it is possible for urban developers to transplant them, they must submit plans to ensure their survival for approval by the section, it said.
The section last year added 11 old trees to the protection list, including a 110cm-thick camphor and a 120cm banyan flanking the Department of Irrigation and Engineering office’s parking lot in Tamsui District (淡水), section chief Hsieh Hung-wei (謝宏偉) said.
Both trees are estimated to be more than 100 years old, he said.
The trees approved for conservation on Wednesday include chinaberry and Elaeocarpus serratus trees, and their status will become official soon after the completion of formal procedures, he said.
The oldest among the eight is the Ficus nervosa in Sindian District’s (新店) Guangsing Borough (廣興), he said.
According to the Council of Agriculture, the ficus tree is 200cm thick and an estimated 250 years old, making it possibly the oldest tree in New Taipei City, Hsieh said, adding that a local shrine is dedicated to the tree.
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
CROSS-PARTY SUPPORT: For the amendment to pass, 50% of all eligible voters would have had to support the initiative, with about 9.62 million ‘yes’ votes cast Non-governmental organizations and student groups expressed disappointment on Saturday evening at the failure of a referendum that would have lowered the voting age in Taiwan from 20 to 18, and they hinted at other steps to address the issue. The referendum, which asked voters to approve a proposed constitutional amendment granting voting rights to citizens aged 18 and over along with the right to run for office, was held in conjunction with local government elections on Saturday. The referendum fell short of the threshold — nearly 9.62 million “yes” votes — needed to pass, as only 5.65 million voters backed the proposed
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her