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The Legal Structure of Taiwan’s Wetland Conservation Act

Graduate School of Law, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0809, Japan
Department of Law, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9418-9427;
Received: 8 September 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
PDF [646 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


In July of 2013, Taiwan passed its Wetland Conservation Act and will begin the implementation of the Act on 2 February 2015. With this Act, Taiwan has become the second Asian country to have specific legislation on wetland conservation and protection. This new law enables the society to achieve sustainable utilization on wetland ecological services. The core concepts of the Wetland Conversation Act include biological diversity conservation and wise use of wetland resources. Special political circumstances prevent Taiwan from registering its wetlands as a conservation priority under the Ramsar Convention. This new law allows the government to evaluate and assign a specific area as a “Wetland of Importance.” Under this status, any development activities within the designated area shall be prohibited unless the developer prepares a usage plan for review. The usage plan and the original usage of the natural resources within the wetland area shall also follow the “wise use” principle to protect the wetland and biological service system. However, this new law does not provide clear separation between the two different “wise use” standards. If the development is deemed necessary, new law provides compensation mitigation measures to extend the surface of the wetland and provides additional habitats for various species. Wetland conservation and management rely heavily on systematic research and fundamental data regarding Taiwan’s wetlands. Determining how to adopt these scientific methodologies and transfer them into enforceable mechanisms is a sizeable challenge for both biologists and lawyers as the Wetland Conservation Act creates many legal norms without clarifying definitions. This article will review the current wetland regulations from the legal perspective and provide suggestions for enforcement in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: wetlands; Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; wise use; wetland of importance; wetland fund; avoidance; mitigation; compensation; wetland label wetlands; Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; wise use; wetland of importance; wetland fund; avoidance; mitigation; compensation; wetland label
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Su, Y.-Y. The Legal Structure of Taiwan’s Wetland Conservation Act. Sustainability 2014, 6, 9418-9427.

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