2020 World Cleanup Day – Let’s Keep Taitung Beautiful


TAITUNG,
TAIWAN – Media OutReach – 30 September 2020 – World Cleanup Day (WCD) is the global social
action volunteer program held in coordination with LET’S DO IT! on the 3rd
Saturday of every September to combat global waste. Since established in
Estonia in 2008, WCD has collected over 100,000 tons of trash worldwide.

2020 World Cleanup Day – Let’s Keep Taitung Beautiful

Magistrate
April Yao’s core values of pure, good, and beauty have motivated Taitung County
Government to participate in WCD since 2019. Taitung’s aid in this year’s event
differs from the previous because COVID 19 has greatly affected the island’s
east coast’s tourist population. The “Taiwan Model,” hailed globally
for successfully combating the pandemic, has allowed Taitung County to remain
free of the virus. While this influx of people flooding into Taitung has
brought flourishing domestic tourism, it also caused many local businesses and
public facilities alike to show signs of not appropriately coping with the
demands. Netizens have dubbed the phenomenon “retaliatory
tourism.”  

To
deal with the negative impacts the retaliatory tourism brings, Taitung is
promoting the concept of “responsible tourism” to raise public
awareness of environmental protection. Taitung County Environmental Protection
Bureau and the International Development and Planning Department led the
“2020 World Cleanup Day Series, Keep Taitung Beautiful” event. All 16
townships and municipalities partook in a series of cleanup events between 9/12
— 9/19, with local communities working in unison, including an underwater dive
cleanup on Green Island. This year’s events collected 7424 kg of trash and
2,479 kg of recycled waste. The 3,423 participants consisted of diverse
organizations ranging from all 91 Indigenous senior cultural health centers to
a plethora of private and public groups such as Fushan Fisheries Resources
Conservation Committee, Lions Clubs, B&Bs and many more. It is a true
testament to Magistrate Yao’s philosophy of “openness, integration &
innovation” with everyone working together towards a common goal. 

While
the influx of post-pandemic tourism brought Taitung economic gains, it also
brought excessive trash from visitors’ overflow, negatively impacting the
natural ecology. It’s crucial to educate Taitung’s visitors to be
“responsible tourists” in order to sustain a healthy ecology for all
to enjoy. If everyone does their small part, certainly a big difference can be
made. Magistrate Yao hopes that Taitung can continue to serve as a positive
inspiration to ease all the pandemic’s negativity. And one day, Taitung becomes
a place where locals and visitors take ecological preservation seriously,
allowing the counties’ beauty to shine far into the future.

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