Support from around the world: Dr. Teresa Tao's support for Smangus people

I would like to support Smangus people as a lecturer in the Department of Geography at University of Toronto, Canada by adding the following message. Please provide only my English name. Thanks


A letter to Taiwanese Authorities:

I am a lecturer in geography at University of Toronto, Canada and one of the authors of "Guidelines for Tourism in Parks and Protected Areas of East Asia", published by IUCN – The World Conservation Union. My specialization is sustainable tourism development and resource management in indigenous communities. I have worked with Smangus people in 2004 on ecotourism development.

I would like to join Dr. Jeanine Pfeiffer, Dr. William T. Hipwell, and Dr. Kelly Bannister to add my support to the villagers' request of dropping the adjudication of the first instance made by Taiwan Hsin-Chu District Court.

In order to effectively manage mountain forest o n an extensive scale, Forestry Bureau needs the aid and human resources of local indigenous communities who are born and brought up there and familiar with mountain forests and topography . It is the time to establish a mutually beneficial and respectful partnership with local indigenous communities .

The community began the planning and development of ecotourism more than ten years ago. Their interpretation program of local natural and cultural features and conservation concepts has changed knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour of tourists in pro-environmental way. The tourism related activities in the community have been sustainably managed in way of supporting conservation and providing quality tourism. Full local participation and money generated has been evenly distributed within the community under their traditional culture Gaga (communal mechanism). As a result, it was chosen as the model tribal community by the Council of Indigenous People, Execurive Yuan. If this event was not handled properly, it would jeopardize other tribes ' confidence to the committment made by Chen's government of establishing a new parternship with indigenous communities in Taiwan.

Sincerely,Dr. Teresa Tao
Department of Geography
University of Toronto

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