The River Restoration Center in Chang Jung Christian University has conducted a series of public participation projects to assist and speed up river rehabilitation since 2002, under the funding of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (TEPA). This year, the Center aims to: (1) incorporate the concept of Eco-life environmental organizations tree and integrate the volunteer monitoring groups and non-government organizations (NGOs) for river rehabilitation in 5 Southern Taiwan counties (Chiayi City, Chiayi County, Tainan City, Kaoshiung City, and Pingtung County); (2) help the local governments promote River Environmental Education and public participation in river monitoring, and conduct the River Watch Training programs; (3) integrate opinions of the river NGOs along the Erhjin River and Yenshui River for the work of river rehabilitation; (4) maintain the Website - “Southern Taiwan River Webpage”.
Along the direction of the previous years, in this project the Center continue to act as an experience-sharing platform for the 5 Southern Taiwan counties, and to promote better public participation in Tainan City. The project has published 11 issues of the newsletter, “Callings from The River”, conducted 4 public forums and 1 student forum on Erhjin River rehabilitation, 5 public forums on Yenshui River rehabilitation, 2 hearings on Eco-life website, and 3 forums for coordinations of river watch programs in the 5 Southern Taiwan countries.
Through the project on public participation in river rehabilitation, the River Restoration Center has established mechanisms for the public to get involved in river protection activities, encouraged the public to report on polluting cases and request legal measures, reviewed the pollution monitoring and reporting system, and obtained concrete results in pollution reduction.