[Sustainable Development] Protecting Our Land

by Shu-Yu Liu

Towering trees replaced by buildings, greenery turned into gray steel bars, natural landscape covered with asphalt, and even rivers and land are polluted. Yet, there is a group of people who care about the environment and having been working non-stop to maintain the ecological balance.

“Tree calculation” identifies present green coverage for planting trees in different terrains

Patch by Planting uses satellite data to establish a platform where land information is analyzed to calculate the chance of tree planting. “Tree calculation” refers to identifying the distribution of the present trees using Landsat 8, an American Earth observation satellite that collects image data on the coverage of vegetation. There are 3 kinds of images, those with no plants, with grass or bushes, and those with large trees.

The next step is to pinpoint the land with no tree coverage. According to the land use survey data by the Ministry of the Interior, there have been lands with a green coverage improvement potential between 0.2 (almost no trees) and 0.5 (low tree cover). Should the land be suitable, the possibility for future planting will be further evaluated. Patch by Planting puts together fragmented land use data and creates geo-spatial analysis that can be presented via online maps. Users can view information that include state-owned forest land, conservation forest land, the location of the land released for adoption, and the potential planting land listed by satellite analysis.

Green Coverage Ratio in Taiwan

Patch by Planting makes use of open-source projects to put together all kinds of information on a collaborative platform. The goal is to work together with administrative units and the private sectors in promoting planting trees.

Under the Light- Factories Contributing to Pollution & Violation Disclosed

Having been dealing with illegal factories built on farmland, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance (GCAA) tries to identify factories with medium and high pollution level, and makes the information accessible to the public.

Online maps showing information on factories in counties and cities that are in violation of related regulations.

GCAA compiles information and establishes Thau Bing, a platform that features the idea of “information made accessible; pollution made invisible.” The maps on the platform show the violation cases and air quality of factories in counties and cities over the past 6 months. Users can view different cases of factories where they are imposed with penalties and the causes based on categories that include groups, companies, products, etc.

In addition, by using Scan & Buy, a mobile application, everyone can take actions in protecting our homeland. When you go shopping, you can access information on the manufacturers to see whether they have conducted any activities that harm the environment. With the application, consumer behavior itself is a tool to supervise the companies and urge them for improvements.

With Scan & Buy, scanning the product barcode allows consumers to access information and history of products and see if there were any records of the manufacturers in violation of laws and regulations.



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