fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Tag: Environmental Protection

Seeing the Coral for the Reef

     According to research by the Kenting National Park (KNP), more than 80% of Taiwanese people will visit the park at some point in their life, and of those, 70% will go to one of the park’s coral areas. Over 400,000 international and domestic tourists visit the area each month. These tourists bring critical revenue to the Hengchun Peninsula supporting livelihoods and infrastructure. At the same time, rising tourism increases overfishing, water pollution, and coastal development, all of which damage marine biodiversity. Humans need both economic development and natural integrity, but how do we balance these sometimes-competing goals?        In the past, policy makers tended to focus on either growth or conservation to the detriment of both. Natural resource economics helps us understand ecosystems in monetary terms using social science–bringing our relationship with nature into the realm of financial planning. Once we know an ecosystem’s value, we can find appropriate legal settlements, reprioritize development goals, and help raise public awareness for better conservation. No ecosystem needs more protection right now than coral reefs, the beating heart of Kenting.        Coral, the ocean’s calcium rainforests, supports 25% of the world’s marine biodiversity while covering less than 1% of

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal