Officials and marine experts from home and abroad give the thumbs-up on Dongsha Island June 13. (Courtesy of OAC)
The International Dongsha Conference concluded June 14 in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City, strengthening exchanges on marine ecology and spotlighting the nation’s conservation work at Dongsha Atoll National Park.
Organized by the Cabinet-level Ocean Affairs Council, the two-day event brought together officials and scholars from countries including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the U.K., U.S. and Vietnam. It consisted of a visit to outlying Dongsha Island as well as keynote speeches and panel discussions on topics spanning ecology, marine culture and industries, maritime security, ocean research, as well as related policies and the law of the sea.
Staged on the opening day of the event, the trip to Dongsha was led by OAC Deputy Minister Chuang Ching-ta and attended by about 70 marine experts from home and abroad. The group explored the local environment and toured an exhibition center, temple and the park’s management station.
Keynote speakers and panelists on the second day of the forum in Kaohsiung included Chen Kuo-sheng, maritime police professor at Central Police University in the northern city of Taoyuan; James Davis Reimer, marine ecology professor at the University of the Ryukyus in Japan; and Michael Perrin, archaeology researcher at the University of Oxford in the U.K.
According to the OAC, discussions at the conference are expected to help bolster ecological protection, ocean research and marine management initiatives at the park.
Located some 450 kilometers south of Kaohsiung, Dongsha Island is at the center of the 353,000-hectare DANP, established in 2007 as the country’s first ocean national park. (CPY-E)