Responding to climate change and associated environmental impacts that global warming has brought is a new challenge the nationals must be faced with. The most fundamental solution is to build low-carbon and sustainable local living zones through a variety of energy saving and carbon reduction action plans that are cooperatively and actively completed. So, the central Environment Protection Administration’s specific policy made up of three term-based plans that are “Low-carbon Communities,” “Low-carbon Cities” and “Low-Carbon Local Living Zones”, respectively, established in a short-term, middle term and long term for the next decade.
The short-term plan firstly targets small communities and then some policy model low-carbon communities will be gradually seen in the end of this stage. The growing number of low-carbon communities will comprise low-carbon cities in the mid-term goal. The long-term plan is expected to realize in 2020 that low-carbon cities will be extended to their adjoining regions and so, four low-carbon and sustainable local living zones respectively built in the northern, central, southern and eastern Taiwan.
This project is a part of the central administration’s policy, aiming to provide assistance in establishment of low-carbon and sustainable local living zones in the eastern Taiwan and offshore islands.
Currently, all the planned jobs are done by the work schedule of this project and the achieved degree of progress of each job is all shown in Table 1. The principal conclusions of each section are summarized as follows:
I. Advisory Group on Techniques and Information about Ten Functions to Activate the Low-carbon and Sustainable Local Living Zones in the Eastern Taiwan
Ten functions to activate the low-carbon and sustainable local living zones in the eastern Taiwan are ecological vegetation, energy-saving architectures, energy-saving equipment and appliances, recyclable energy, green transportation, recyclable and reusable resources, low-carbon daily life, natural disasters prevention rescue and adaptation, policy, economic and tax measures, and social behavior science and evaluation tools. This group comprises 118 advisory members with 1 chairperson, 3 vice chairpersons, 10 work group conveners, and others being divided into each advisory work group on techniques and information about these functions.
II. About How the Executive Plan Is Made for Ten Functions to Activate the Low-carbon and Sustainable Local Living Zones in the Eastern Taiwan
This executive plan is based on the proposal of low-carbon city planning on the eastern Taiwan. Besides, it is integrated of some conclusions from several of 3 work group meetings and 44 groups meetings on low-carbon economy and sustainability. This synthetic plan presents that select techniques specific to the eastern Taiwan are in consistent with the rule of low-carbon and sustainable homeland and thus the action plans and evaluation indices are created on the basis of it.
III. About How the Proposal Is Composed for Ten Functions to Activate the Low-carbon and Sustainable Local Living Zones in the Eastern Taiwan
This proposal cites a few successful cases in ecological vegetation, energy-saving architectures, energy-saving equipment and appliances, recyclable energy, green transportation, recyclable and reusable resources, low-carbon daily life, natural disasters prevention rescue and adaptation, policy, economic and tax measures, and social behavior science and evaluation tools. Then, the executive strategy and action plans are decided by case study and policy analysis about each function to activate the low-carbon and sustainable local living zone in the eastern Taiwan. A discussion of not only the name of each action plan but also their substantive contents is made to build a low-carbon local living zone in the eastern Taiwan.
IV. Execution of Evaluation and Evaluation in Evaluation System, and Evaluation Indices, Method and Mixed Evaluation
Local characteristics of the eastern Taiwan are the main framework of this plan. Domestic evaluation standards in the related fields are citied to build an evaluation system that is fit for local characteristics of the eastern Taiwan. The evaluation system comprising required and elective indices provides for the standards to build low-carbon and sustainable homelands that each county township, city, village or community administration must meet. Moreover, all the local administrations will be divided into three classes, “Bronze,” “Silver” or “Gold” based on good or bad marks they receive.
In wake of three work group meetings, the final executive strategy of ecologic vegetation comprises five action plans—Ecologic Vegetation Education & Promotion, Tree & Woodland Management, to Increase Vegetation, and Bio-diversity and Habitat Protection Plan; The final executive strategy of energy-saving architectures comprises five action plans—Energy-saving Houses Education & Promotion, Green Building Labels Acquisition & Authentication, Core Energy-saving Architectures Plan and Such Energy-saving Action Plans for Architectures; The final executive strategy of energy-saving equipment and appliances comprises four action plans—Clean Energy Education & Promotion, Energy-saving Street Lamps Plan, and High-efficiency Lighting Fixtures and Energy-saving Electric Appliances Plan; The final executive strategy of recyclable energy comprises seven action plans—Recyclable Energy Education & Promotion, Wind Power Promotion Plan, Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Heating Promotion Plan, Bio-energy Use Promotion Plan, Small Hydroelectric Power Generator Promotion Plan, Geothermal Power Promotion Plan and Ocean Energy Use; The final executive strategy of green transportation comprises seven action plans—Green Transportation Education & Promotion, Bike Riders Service System Planning & Establishment, New Energy Vehicle System Promotion Plan, Mass Transportation System (mainly buses and community shuttle buses,) Car Pooling Platform Promotion, Food Mileage Reduction Plan and User-friendly Transportation Information System; The final executive strategy of recyclable and reusable resources comprises fourteen action plans—Recyclable & Reusable Resources Education & Promotion, Recycling & Reuse of Large Wastes, Recycling & Reuse of Agricultural Waste, Plan for Recycling & Reuse of Architectural Waster, Use of Water Saving Facilities, Plan for Recycling & Reuse of Waste Water, Plan for Ancient Buildings Preservation & Reuse, Pre-owned Products Sharing Platform, Plan for Recycling & Reuse of Pre-owned Clothes, Plan for Recycling & Reuse of Waste Containers, Kitchen Waster Reuse System, to Make Compost a Resource, Rain Recycling & Reuse (such rain storage facilities as water piggy bank) and Plan for Promoting Environment-friendly Farm with Use of Recycling Environmental Resources; The final executive strategy of low-carbon daily life comprises ten action plans—Low-carbon Daily Life Education & Promotion, Low-carbon Travel Promotion Plan, Low-carbon Activities Promotion Plan, Green Accommodation Promotion Plan, Low-carbon Diet Promotion Plan, Plan for Promoting Holiday Farmers or Green Marketplace, and Self-supporting or City Citizen Farms, Green Shop Promotion Plan, Green Purchase Promotion Plan and Promotion of Low-carbon Activities Authentication; The final executive strategy of disaster prevention rescue and adaptation comprises four action plans—Disaster Prevention & Rescue Education & Promotion, Disaster Prevention & Rescue Resources Check & Maintenance, Reorganization of Disaster Prevention & Rescue Departments and Investigation of Disaster-prone Areas Due to Climate Change (including a survey of the affected districts and evaluation of environmental vulnerability); The final executive strategy of policy, economic and tax measures comprises six action plans—Plan for Developing Local Green Economy, Establishment of Carbon Emission Regulations or Rules for Communities, Low-carbon Financing Application System, Environment-friendly Support Plan for Business, Green Sponsorship Plan for Business and Plan for Encouragement of Investment in Green Industry; The final executive strategy of social behavior science and evaluation tools comprises seven action plans—Low-carbon & Sustainable Development Plan, Plan for Promoting Environmental Education in Low-carbon and Sustainability Issues, Organization of Green & Low-carbon Team, Volunteers Training Program for Low-carbon and Sustainability Issues, Organization of Low-carbon Activities for Sustainable Environment, Community Participation Percentage and Carbon Footprint Calculation Plan.
For policy promotion and additionally, to popularize the action plans and raise their performance, every action will have its demonstrative project. On the other hand, all the evaluation indicators and even, the sub-indicators are established closely based upon those action plans. Moreover, the level of an administrative body will be considered for rating. After the group meeting, as shown at Table 2, 68 directives requiring rating and accreditation for building a low-carbon and sustainable homeland in the eastern Taiwan has been decided.
V. Establishment & Maintenance: the Framework of Technical Information System for Building a Low-carbon and Sustainable Local Living Zone in the Eastern Taiwan
The platform is built on Google Sites for exchanging all the technical information about ten action plans to build a low-carbon and sustainable local living zone in the eastern Taiwan. The webpages will display such information, announced by the central or local governments and other authorities concerned, of latest events and rules, subsidies, tasks, evaluation tools, or such minutes of each work group’s meetings, project for reducing carbon emission in the eastern Taiwan and offshore islands, main theme of those action plans and their answers (covering research, development and application of technical, economic, financial and tax, legal, and social instruments. The platform will receive all such information which is not regularly updated. The official updates about the low-carbon action plans will be known immediately.
VI. The Conferences for Promoting the Project
In this project, the invitations of the planned four conferences, under respective cooperation with I-lan Community University, Luodong Community University Hualien Community University and South Island Community College, will be addressed to the selected target of more than estimated 200 participants in each including community/village heads, public department officials and community development association or NGO members. In these conferences, all the action plans, ways to execute them and further planning of the project will be briefed and besides, exchange of ideas and discussions expected.
The purposes are to raise the participants’ understanding of the goal and prospect of “Low-carbon & Sustainable Homeland.” With feedbacks from those participants, there may be an incremental improvement to each action plan, as well as the little improved project will be made better, more complete and much closer to the needs of local people or community practices.