2018.4.18 Lunch Seminar SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR WHOM? Laws and Policies on Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development in Taiwan
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1. Background 

Beginning of this year, the Taitung County authorities started the bidding for the development of the Jhihben Wetland (知本濕地). The authorities plan to set up a solar energy presentation area to promote sustainable development. However, the Jhihben Wetland is an important ecological area. In addition, it is located within the traditional territory of a local indigenous Puyuma community. This community, the Katratripul community, have traditionally used the Jhihben Wetland for their rituals and for hunting and fishing. Yet the community has not been involved so far in any of the planning and proposed development of the Jhihben Wetland. 
The Jhihben Wetland case is an example of the tension between sustainable development promoted by the State and the use of lands, territories, and natural resources by indigenous peoples in Taiwan. The controversies of the Jhihben Wetland case are part of a broader problem in Taiwan’s approach to “sustainable development.” The State adopts a narrow view on sustainable development that mainly focuses on economic growth and to some extent addresses environmental protection but overlooks social inclusion. Renewable energy projects, ecotourism, and national parks are proposed on lands, territories, and natural resources occupied and/or used by indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples need these lands, territories, and natural resources for their subsistence and their cultures. There nevertheless is not a full consultation and consent of indigenous peoples in the planning and achievement of sustainable development schemes. 
The narrow view on sustainable development is laid down in the applicable laws on the development of lands and natural resources. There is no law that mandates social impact assessments at any stage of proposed sustainable development projects. In addition, the obligatory EIAs do not provide for substantial consultation with affected indigenous communities – only a public hearing is to be held. The relation of the EIAs with laws that prescribe consultation and Free Prior and Informed Consent (‘FPIC’) of indigenous peoples is also ambiguous. These laws on consultation and FPIC moreover impose a model of decision-making that is alien to many indigenous peoples. A final example is that the law does not contain regulations on fair and appropriate compensation for and distribution of the risks and benefits of sustainable development projects between non-indigenous dominant society and indigenous peoples.
So, generally, law does not include indigenous peoples in the decision-making on sustainable development projects and their risks and benefits. This is not in accordance with international trends and standards for sustainable development. The proposed seminar aims to address these problems of Taiwanese law, have an exchange of ideas, and to propose directions for further advancement of the law. 

2. General Seminar Theme and Sub Topics

The general theme of the seminar is proposed to be “sustainable development and indigenous peoples.” It revolves around the problem of who benefits from sustainable development in Taiwan. As set out above, sustainable development in Taiwan is one-sided. Indigenous peoples carry its burden; their views, traditions, and values on sustainable development are not considered, and their lands and natural resources are not respected. Therefore, the question can be asked: sustainable development for whom?
This seminar focuses on the interactions between the State and indigenous peoples on sustainable development, and the role of law in these interactions. So, the seminar addresses the role of the law in the issues of indigenous peoples and EIAs, the right to consultation, FPIC, and benefit-sharing and compensation. The speakers are invited to share their views and expertise. 

3. Schedule:

Date: 4/18(Wed.) 12:30~14:30
Venue: National Taiwan University, College of Social Science, I-Sian Building, First Conference Room (Room 419)

Welcome and Introduction
Professor Awi Mona Chih-Wei Tsai 
Professor Nian-Feng Xin 
Dr. Jeroen van Bekhoven
Dr. Tsung-Ling Lee 
Professor Kuei-Tien Chou
Closing Remarks

*The presentations will be mainly in Chinese (with no translator).
Only the presentation of Jeroen van Bekhoven will be in English.