Draft law amendment to impose heavy fines for national park damage

Taipei-The Ministry of the Interior has announced a proposed law amendment to introduce stiffer fines for those who cause damage to national park resources, conservation and preservation.

Currently, the maximum fine for a violation of the National Park Law is only NT$3,000 (US$107.67), which is not a sufficient deterrent to violators, according to the ministry.

The proposed amendment introduces fines of up to NT$1 million for illegal mining, as well as water or soil pollution that causes irreparable damage to ecological protected areas of Taiwan, it said.

Considering that historical preservation areas, special landscape areas and ecological protection areas are the core of the nation's national parks, the ministry said its proposed draft amendment stipulates that those who violate the law regarding illegal construction of buildings or roads, land reclamation or prospecting for minerals, removal of earth or gravel, in addition to pollution, should face a jail term of no more than three years and/or a fine of up to NT$1 million.

The draft also stipulates that people will be subject to a prison term of no more than two years and/or a fine of up to NT$500,000 for burning vegetation or setting fires to clear land, hunting animals or catching fish, picking or removing wild plants and fungi, carving into or writing on trees, stones or signs and discarding waste material in national park areas.

The draft of the law amendment will be open for public comment on the MOI's Construction and Planning Agency's website until April 26.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel