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March 2007

March 2007
The Dongsha Atoll, a pearl in the South China Sea.

Its beauty, less well known than that of other Taiwan islands, is highlighted by the richness of its atoll reef. On January 17, 2007 the Ministry of the Interior announced the establishment of the Dongsha Atoll National Park, the first marine national park in Taiwan. In this issue of our quarterly magazine, we present a detailed and insightful coverage of this new marine park, a 350,000 hectare treasure of nature. We will reveal the past history of this interesting area, give details of the present characteristics of its environment and ecosystem, as well as provide some indications of what lies ahead in the future of this marine national park.

Establishment of this marine national park is Taiwan's first step towards joining the international community's growing environmental conservation movement. To prepare for this new marine park era, a comparative study was conducted on the largest and most prestigious marine park in the world, a global icon in the marine conservation field—the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia. Emulating the operational secrets of this famous World Heritage site will ensure Taiwan’s first venture into marine parks will meet the greatest chance of success.

Though it’s unlikely many people will have a chance to visit Kenting in the near future, readers can still experience its stunning beauty through an original photographic study. Captured with the love and skill of a professional nature photographer, diverse views of the inter-tidal and coral reef ecosystem of Kenting are revealed in a series of stunning photos.

As modern Taiwanese, we are fortunate to have inherited such rich marine resources from history. We must awaken to the responsibilities of receiving this priceless gift. Our beautiful environment is an asset we should appreciate and care for with thoughtful humility, passing it forward to future generations with the original richness intact.