Politicizing nature: The Maqaw national park controversy in Taiwan

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Yih-ren Lin examines how the Maqaw National Park controversy changed public debates about forests and forest management in Taiwan. There are only six species of Chaemacyparis, cypress, in the world. Two of these, C. formosensis and C. obtusa var. formosana, are native to Taiwan. These majestic trees can grow up to 60 meters tall and 20 meters in circumference and are found at elevations of 1,800-2,500 meters in both pure and mixed stands. The Maqaw controversy began in 1998 when forest activist Lai Chun-biao discovered that the Veterans Affairs Commission was illegally logging cypress trees on Chi-lan Mountain under the pretense of clearing fallen trees. By proposing a national park to protect the Chi-lan forest, the NASCF publicly exposed internal divisions relating to forest management inside the central government. By Christmas 2000, after months of discussions, pro-national park Tayal activists and conservation groups had reconciled their disagreements about the form the new national park should take.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-103
Number of pages16
JournalCapitalism, Nature, Socialism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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