Rediscovery of Taiwan Ocean Heritage and Its Sustainability
Journal of Ocean & Culture
Taiwan is surrounded by sea. With the interweaving impacts of its geographical location, geologic condition and historical development, Taiwan not only has its unique ecosystem, terrains and culture but also possesses rich oceanic culture and heritage. According to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act regulated by the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan, Taiwan owns tangible oceanic natural heritages, including Yehliu Geopark, Penghu Columnar Basalt Nature
... nar Basalt Nature Reserve, Dongsha Marine National Park, and oceanic cultural heritages, such as Penghu stone weirs, Hengchun old gates, and Tamshui Fortress San Domingo. On the other hand, Taiwan possesses several precious intangible cultural heritages, such as Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession, Jinshan sulfuric fire fishing, and Changhua oxcarts. In order to continuously maintain the oceanic ecosystem and cultural heritages in and around Taiwan, the government needs to not only establish a bureau to conduct a comprehensive survey to discover and reserve those precious marine heritages but also regulate laws and formulate policies to maintain, revitalize and reuse them. Moreover, the government should actively cultivate more professional talents, offer more chances to allow the public to participate, encourage closer cooperation between the public and private sectors, and integrate tourism resources, cultural assets and creative industries. Thus, the government can develop oceanic cultural industries combined with local features to increase the competitiveness of the tourism industries in Taiwan and boost local economic growth. Journal of Ocean & Culture Rediscovery of Taiwan Ocean Heritage and Its Sustainability 69 sustain and pass down to the next generation. Nevertheless, with the acceleration of global warming and modernization progress, cultural ecology is changing significantly. Cultural heritage and its environment are being threatened severely. Special heritages in some regions, which have not gained enough resources, have to be discovered urgently. Some endangered or idle heritages should be investigated and rediscovered or should be protected, revitalized and reused. The marine regions accounting for about seventy percent of the earth surface area are not only rich in a diversity of creatures and mineral resources but also play an important role in the transmission and the loop of the global climate and the energy system. Moreover, the abundant ecology and the convenient transportation of the ocean are not only beneficial to the human residence but also drive the prosperity of the economy and trade. Therefore, over 60% of the population and over 70% of first-tier and second-tier cities are located in coastal areas. Due to this reason, the development of civilization and the shaping of culture are deeply nurtured and influenced by the ocean(Lin, 2015). However, in recent years, the ocean has been affected by global warming and environmental contamination, which results in problems, such as the rising of sea temperature, the elevation of sea level, and the sea pollution. These problems bring not only catastrophes to creatures and human in coastal areas but also the devastation which is steadily on the increase to marine heritage. For instance, 93% of corals in Australia's Great Barrier Reef are bleached, and the South Island ethnic Tuvalu may also be inundated by the rise of seawater. The researchers of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany warn that if the climatic temperature keeps rising, there will be 1.1% of land sinking into the bottom of the water. Then, 136 world heritage sites will be inundated, including the Sydney Opera House and the city of water-Venice. Hence, in 2005, the UNESCO launched the World Heritage Marine Programme with a view to effectively protecting the marine regions with present and potential value of heritage for the sustainable development of the marine ecology and environment.