Taiwan Church News
July 30 – August 5, 2018
Taiwan Government’s Spatial Planning Protested As A Self-Defeating Black Box
Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong
On July 23, a coalition of environment groups, including Citizen of The Earth, Taiwan(CET), Taiwan Environmental Information Association(TEIA) and Environmental Rights Foundation(ERF) and etc, demonstrated before the Executive Yuan to protest the government’s self-defeating maneuvers of breaching against Spatial Planning Act which was effective from the law’s publication date on April 27, 2018.
Spatial Planning Act, as the mother law for all across the country, requires all spatial planning, to whatever kinds of person or institute a spatial planning belongs , should be disclosed to the public for 90 days after that very spatial planning is finished and publicized.
The environmental groups protested that the proceedings, during the operations of Planning and Evaluation Committee of Spatial Planning under Ministry of the Interior, are actually operated in a black box without disclosing any meeting minutes, records or data.
All the legally accessible information, including the land acquisition of financial corps and civilians, total areas of farming lands, outlines of urban planning and etc, are all kept in the black box as the classified documents unless an official request from civilian group is submitted and approved by the Executive Yuan, complained those environmental groups.
Mr Chen Ray-bin, general secretary of TEIA, remarked that a transparent government supplying free and accessible public information to her citizens not only contributes to establish a more ideal society, but also make a country more secure and sustainable. Otherwise, the elected government would lose the hard-won legitimacy once her policy is made in a self-defeating black box.
As a Christian, Mr Chen specially appealed to the public to withhold a hotly debated article, stipulated in the Act of Farming Land Development, proposing to keep a complete farm land surpassing 25 acres yet using 80% of it in farming produces to be kept within the top class land under the planning of agricultural development. As this is a good legal code to keep our farming land sufficient and sustainable, said Mr Chen.
Translated by Peter Wolfe