The world is facing multiple challenges, such as increases in climate extremes, food security and environmental pollution. In December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year’s theme, "Our solutions are in nature," emphasizes the essential importance of biological diversity for our livelihoods and sustainable development. In today’s changing environment, the future existence of mankind is tied to biodiversity conservation. It underpins human wellbeing at present and in the future. We must take urgent action to protect our planet and humanity’s future.
In collaboration with the Forestry Bureau, Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation (TOAF) launched a Green Conservation (GC) program to promote environmentally friendly agriculture which promotes ecological conservation. The primary focus of the program is to protect threatened species and their habitats through technical training and assistance to local farmers who are transitioning from conventional to organic agriculture. Farms that meet the GC standards receive the right to promote and market their products with the GC seal of approval. Since then, the program has grown and evolved into a widely recognized label nationally. Consumers in Taiwan recognize the label as a symbol of environmental, social and economic sustainability.
To provide more opportunities for people to connect with the source of their food and to understand farmland biodiversity, TOAF introduced a participatory guarantee system in 2017, inviting consumers, experts and other relevant stakeholders to participate. People develop a relationship with farmers and learn more about how food is grown. It provides them a chance to get up close to animals and learn farm-based skills. In this system, consumers can feel more confident about what they eat. In occasion of the IDB, TOAF will organize several farmers’ markets throughout Taiwan to provide farmers with a direct market outlet for their products and link local farmers with community members.
As of 2019, there are nearly 450 certified farms with over 600 hectares of land encompassing important ecosystems now under sustainable management. Now, many people actively support these standards and encourage wider adoption of stewardship practices in producers.