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2Taiwan Public Corporation's Participation in the Mechanism of Payment for Environmental Services

Authors: Wan-Yu Liu, Chun-Cheng Lin


The Taiwan government has started to promote the “Plain Landscape Afforestation and Greening Program" since 2002. A key task of the program was the payment for environmental services (PES), entitled the “Plain Landscape Afforestation Policy" (PLAP), which was certificated by the Executive Yuan on August 31, 2001 and enacted on January 1, 2002. According to the policy, it is estimated that the total area of afforestation will be 25,100 hectares by December 31, 2007. Until the end of 2007, the policy had been enacted for six years in total and the actual area of afforestation was 8,919.18 hectares. Among them, Taiwan Sugar Corporation (TSC) was accounted for 7,960 hectares (with 2,450.83 hectares as public service area) which occupied 86.22% of the total afforestation area; the private farmland promoted by local governments was accounted for 869.18 hectares which occupied 9.75% of the total afforestation area. Based on the above, we observe that most of the afforestation area in this policy is executed by TSC, and the achievement ratio by TSC is better than by others. It implies that the success of the PLAP is seriously related to the execution of TSC. The objective of this study is to analyze the relevant policy planning of TSC-s participation in the PLAP, suggest complementary measures, and draw up effective adjustment mechanisms, so as to improve the effectiveness of executing the policy. Our main conclusions and suggestions are summarized as follows: 1. The main reason for TSC-s participation in the PLAP is based on their passive cooperation with the central government or company policy. Prior to TSC-s participation in the PLAP, their lands were mainly used for growing sugarcane. 2. The main factors of TSC-s consideration on the selection of tree species are based on the suitability of land and species. The largest proportion of tree species is allocated to economic forests, and the lack of technical instruction was the main problem during afforestation. Moreover, the method of improving TSC-s future development in leisure agriculture and landscape business becomes a key topic. 3. TSC has developed short and long-term plans on participating in the PLAP for the future. However, there is no great willingness or incentive on budgeting for such detailed planning. 4. Most people from TSC interviewed consider the requirements on PLAP unreasonable. Among them, an unreasonable requirement on the number of trees accounted for the greatest proportion; furthermore, most interviewees suggested that the government should continue to provide incentives even after 20 years. 5. Since the government shares the same goals as TSC, there should be sufficient cooperation and communication that support the technical instruction and reduction of afforestation cost, which will also help to improve effectiveness of the policy.

Keywords: Payment for environmental services (PES), afforestation subsidy, Taiwan Sugar Corporation

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