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American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES) and Taiwan

An international forum co-organized by Public Construction Commission of Executive Yuan and Water Resources Agency of Ministry of Economic Affairs was completed on October 19 on the current American Ecological Engineering Development. Deputy Chairman Dr. Chen Sen-teng was there in person and gave a welcome to the former chairman of AEES Prof. Steve C. McCutcheon as a keynote speaker. In his speech Dr. Chen mentioned that after September 21’s earthquake, Taiwanese was taught to respect nature and make adaptation. Therefore we start to put more emphasis on the importance of ecological engineering. He expressed gratitude toward engineers and scholars for their longtime promotion and support of ecological engineering.


It was mentioned in the forum that American Ecological Engineering Society has done a lot of in-depth research on Agricultural ecological engineering, but was less familiar with the application of road engineering. The Society is good at disaster relief emergency rescue but has much room for improvement in sustainable development of reconstruction. Our adaptation capacity is relatively low toward the situation we have never experienced or imagined.


Sustainable development is a value judgment. It needs both policy makers and citizens to jointly define what is economic and ecological sustainable. It even requires a global consideration and evaluation of the impacts of various measures on our offspring. Thus he reminded each nation should establish its own concept of sustainable development according to her own environment and unique national features .


For example in SriLanka, some wetland and sand dune are less affected by the tsunami. Mangrove forest and other plants alone have protected lots of infrastructure. Without them, there probably would not be any infrastructure left. Katrina hurricane has badly damaged the city of New Orleans. Reconstruction works poses a big challenge on ecological engineering. Currently wetlands and beaches are under reconstruction, but the ideal height of the wave-braking bank is still under debate and evaluation. Chairman of American Civil Engineering Society admits that there is professional negligence, like, it has not dealt with certain problems, lacking of more conservative design, and the systematic steps incorporated.


The director of National Taipei University of Technology water environment research center, Prof. Lin Zhen-yang, encouraged all participants to raise questions and give comments by using his charm and connections. Scholars and engineers eagerly participated in the discussion. The forum gives an impression that American is modest and brave in confronting problems and gives lots of encouragement toward Taiwan counterparts, especially when they recognized Taiwan’s successful records of road ecological engineering which they came to learn from our secret know-how. Therefore engineering community and scholars from Taiwan should not underestimate themselves.

 After the forum, Prof. Chen Wei-yao, Prof. Lin Guan-you, and Prof. Lin Se-chiang accompanied Prof.McCutcheon to visit the ecology site on campus of National Taipei University of Technology and its water collection equipment. They hope one day they could realize the dream of building a protection cannel around its campus using ecological engineering method. Although it still has a long way to go, it is a very worthwhile dream.


[Oct. 17 , 2007, Reported by Denise YANG Editor of EEM]