International scientific review to publish Taiwan case results

The results of an agrobiodiversity study conducted by the Hualien District Agricultural Research and Extension Station under the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture have been selected for publication by Tokyo-based International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, the research station announced May 9.

IPSI was established in 2010 by Japan's Ministry of the Environment and Tokyo-headquartered U.N. University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability. The international partnership annually publishes the Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review, which this year includes 10 studies on socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes.

The Taiwan study aimed to identify local indicator species, which are organisms whose absence or abundance reflects an area's environmental conditions. These organisms can be used to determine the level of biodiversity in Hualien's rice paddies.

During the study, researchers identified three such species, namely Micraspis discolor, a type of ladybug, as well as Tetragnatha maxillosa and Tetragnatha javana, both classified under the Tetragnatha genus of spiders.

According to IPSI, the case studies to be published in the 2018 edition of the review were selected from submissions by the initiative's 202 member organizations. Each study relates to livelihood activities with biodiversity, socio-cultural and economic aspects. Authors of selected studies will be invited to a case study workshop in Tokyo this June.

In terms of applying the study's results, the Hualien research station collaborated with Taipei-based nonprofit organization Tse-Xin Organic Agricultural Foundation to incorporate the newly identified indicator species into the existing standards used to determine if an agricultural product is eligible for the Green Conservation Label. It is the first time the foundation has utilized non-endangered species as indicators.

This is the third Taiwan case study to be selected for publication in IPSI's annual review, following an eco-friendly farming survey conducted by Taipei City-based Society for Wildlife and Nature International, and a study on participatory management of a paddy cultural landscape project operated by National Dong Hwa University in Hualien County.

The Hualien research station became a member of IPSI in July last year and is the first government organization in Taiwan to join the international partnership.

Source: Radio Taiwan International