Taiwanese Premier Jiang, Yi-huah, recently commended the Council of Agriculture (COA) for promoting hiking trail systems in hilly areas, saying they embrace Taiwan’s natural resources and beautiful scenery as well as its historical and cultural characteristics.
These trails have reaped abundant fruit, the premier said, for they have not only provided the public with venues for recreation, exercise, experiencing nature, and ecotourism, but have also spurred economic development in mountainous communities, generating job opportunities in remote highland villages and enclaves.
The premier, who made these remarks after a briefing on establishing such hiking trails for in-depth ecotourism development, also expressed his acknowledgement to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of the Interior, Council of Indigenous Peoples and other related ministries for their efforts in promoting this project.
Extending the trail systems is a major part of the government’s effort to nurture an environmentally sustainable homeland, Jiang emphasized. He urged the COA to continue collaborating closely with other related ministries in setting up, managing and maintaining these systems. Moreover, the COA should formulate developmental strategies and models for trail-based ecotourism, develop world-class nature trail eco-tours and publicize Taiwan’s forest ecology and humanistic and cultural traits to the international community, he said.
The premier expects the COA’s Forestry Bureau to continue refurbishing and maintaining the hiking trails in mountainous regions after it is incorporated into the future Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. He also hopes such trails will replace mountain roads to further benefit the sustainable use and development of Taiwan’s precious natural resources.
In addition, Jiang enjoined the COA to make known to government employees and the public when new nature trails and recreational facilities are being set up, as suggested by other agencies. The premier also asked his Cabinet members to take time to hike on the trails themselves, as walking is good for one’s health.