Taiwan experienced a highly successful economic transformation in the last 50 years that produced one of Asia's genuine 'miracles' of modern development, in terms of improvement in per capita income and overall quality of material well being for its citizens. The process, though, involved rapid industrialization and urbanization, and breakneck mass consumption, that inevitably resulted in rapid escalation in degradation of the island's fragile air, water, and land, and produced some of the worst environmental pollution to be found anywhere in Asia This book examines the causes of Taiwan's environmental predicament, engaging in Taiwan's unique geological, geographical, demographical, political, industrial, historical and economic circumstances. In addition, Jack Williams and Ch'ang-yi David Chang assess the efforts of the government, NGOs and private citizens to create a "green" environmentally sustainable island, with a high tech economy based on the silicon chip, the backbone of Taiwan's highly successful IT industry. Finally the authors discuss what can be done to improve Taiwan's environmental future.
As the first commercially available book in English on Taiwan's environmental problems this is an invaluable read for students and scholars interested in environmental studies, sustainable development and the island of Taiwan.
Jack F. Williams is Professor Emweritus of Geography at Michigan State University, USA. Ch'ang-yi David Chang is Professor of Geography at National Taiwan University.