In the 1960s and 1970s Taiwan had average GDP growth of nearly 10% in real terms. Spectacular economic growth continued even after that, raising the per capita GNP of about $100 in 1950 to over $10,000 in 1992. Such rapid industrialization on this small land area necessarily weighs heavily on the environment, and Taiwan’s environmental burden per unit land area attained the world’s highest level. Countries that pursue accelerated industrialization must from the initial stage of economic growth make environmental policy efforts commensurate with the rate of growth, but Taiwan’s efforts have been inadequate. In fact, Taiwan’s unique difficulties emerged upon giving environmental conservation a place in public policy. Generally development that accords priority to catching up with other countries promotes the highly polluting heavy and chemical industries over others. For this reason, policy tends to favor industrial infrastructure over livelihood-related community development, to overemphasize education in engineering and the sciences for developing human resources, and to encourage concentration in large cities, a course of action that readily causes environmental damage.
KeywordsAircraft Noise Clouded Leopard China Petroleum Unit Land Area Pollutant Standard Index
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