Sunday, 27 July 2014

Upcomming Event: Taitung Eco-Working Holiday

Taiwan's East Coast is beautiful, but (fortunately or unfortunately) often inaccessible for tourists on short itineraries without their own transport. It hosts a multitude of flora and fauna, and is home to some of Taiwan's indigenous populations. events

Image from the TEIA website.

While during my travels there I've always found locals very friendly and welcoming (like everywhere in Taiwan), in recent years there have been moves toward unsustainable commercial development on the coast, including a controversial highway extension through a delicate coastal ecosystem and a large hotel complex (Mirimar Resort Village, no relation to the shopping centre in Taipei) for which construction began without permits, and was cancelled only after the suicide of a local campaigner.

The Taiwan Environmental Information Association is a non-profit organisation which supports the large environmental movement in Taiwan by producing and disseminating information. They are organising an 'Eco-Working Holiday' in Taitung (Taidong) from August 2nd (this Saturday) to August 6th (Wednesday). This program offers a unique opportunity to learn about the  East Coast from local indigenous people, assist with hands-on environmental work (beach cleanup), learn traditional indigenous skills and perhaps most importantly, promote environmentally conscious tourism instead of five-star hotels which, along with the traffic they will bring, are likely to have dire effects on the environment and local communities.

I think this photo, which I took from the roadside on a scooter trip several years
ago, is probably a few km south of Fukafudak.

I'm always reluctant to promote non-vegan events, however positive they may be in other respects, however I also consider it important that vegans support other related movements, of which the environment is certainly important. While unfortunately the food provided includes "sustainable seafood", I personally know the organiser, and am assured that vegans will be well catered for. The "Fisheries simulation game" is simply an interactive group simulation of commercial fisheries to show their effects on fish populations. 

Fudafudak is the Amis (aboriginal) name of the coastal town at which the beach
cleanup will take place. It is also known in Chinese as Cihting / 刺桐.
View Fudafudak in a larger map

I highly recommend this program to anyone who would like to visit and contribute positively to the environment and people of Taiwan's beautiful East Coast. Contact information can all be found on the TEIA website

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