Chen Yueh-fong and Environmental Justice

An op ed piece by Chen Yueh-fong, Taiwan's leading deep ecology proponent and founder of the Taiwan Academy of Ecology, appeared in the 5 February 2007 edition of the Taipei Times.

By way of further background, the landfills in the Wushantou Reservoir catchment area were approved by the local Tainan County government under the predecessor of current magistrate Su Huan-chih. Although Su made his reputation in part on being an outspoken critic of the Binnan development due to proximity to one of the most important migratory stopovers for the highly endangered Blackface Spoonbill (Patalea minor) he has been singularly unconcerned with environmental problems in this case.

Although the central government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority to step in, they have so far refused to do so. This has left local residents with no choice but to file legal action against the commissioners who gave the original approval for the landfills. Criminal investigations are also pending against the developers, but despite these actions, most observers believe too much money has been paid out, there is too much involvement by county councilors, and the general "short term economic interests" mentality will prevail.

Leave it to our children to figure out.