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Citizen participation

Citizen participation is a political principle or practice, and may also be recognized as a right. The terms citizen participation is sometimes used interchangeably with the concept or practice of stakeholder engagement and/or popular participation. This can be in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, companies or any other entities that affect public interests. The principle of citizen participation holds that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. Citizen participation implies that the public's contribution will influence the decision.

Kao-Ping Weir

The "Kao-Ping Weir Stable Water Supply Improvement Project”, is sponsored and operated in 2014, which aims to implement six perceived tasks in Dashu district concluded from previous project “The Issues of Kao-Ping Weir and the Promotion of Citizen Participation with multi-strategic Solutions”, which was completed in 2013. The core value of this project includes conducting an in-depth field research, undertaking interactive communication with community opinion leaders, promoting cross-sector/agency collaboration, establishing related cooperation platforms for the future prospected operations, proposing and executing various neighborhood-friendly programs that include the operation of the aquatic community site tour and workshop. The main purpose of the project is to achieve three key paths: “trust”, “consensus”, and “commitment” for integrating the citizen participation into water resources policy-making /implementation process.

Four dimensions are included such as “ a considered effective bridge of communication”,“interpersonal reciprocity”,“public-affairs partnership” and “individual fellowship in private.” They are surveyed in terms of the trust status between the key stakeholders and the project of Koa-Ping Weir Stable Water Supply Improvement. Due to the solid foundation of trust, it has already been built between community leaders, leaders of local organizations and the SRWRO (South Region Water Resource Office) since 2013, the “consensus” based on the citizen participants and water resource policy becomes the focal objective in 2014. Regarding to the previous six perceived tasks concluded in 2012, the project is further expected to brainstorm realizable projects under the agreement of consensus with individual key stakeholders, integrating them with the proper neighborhood-friendly program and the executable operation of workshop to create a better participatory and interactive environment under the basis of more constructive consensus.The objective of the project in 2015 is “commitment”, which is designed to build a communicative dialogue networking among the stakeholders through the help of intermediary groups. Conducted by the mutual effort of the public department and residential community, the High riverbank with water supplement can be constructed as a community shared vision. The content mainly focuses on the water resources reservation to activate the local development and the two precise objectives in terms of helping Kao-Ping Weir construction to promote the certification of environmental education through the community empowerment and the environmentally-organized recourses. Based on the objective of the project this year-“commitment”, three observed items are concluded such as “the maintain and the effect communication platform”, “the trail of public requests and subsequent communication” and “ the participation to the promotion of water supplement of the riverbank” as the significant evaluation as well as the research achievements of the project.

The goals of project are to receive an in-depth perspectives and expectations from the official department, residential community, and other respective stakeholders who are affected by the Koa-Ping Weir construction by operating the mechanism of communication. Concerning to the community's requests and the solutions to solving the problems in terms of policy implementation, we help solve most of the different topics between the agency and the community under the process of not only doing the field research for further information but continuing keeping track of each status of the construction of Dashu dyke's designing. The project targets to advance the sense of trust built between the public and the SRWRO to further safeguard a long-term trust in government through various accessible communication and interactive opportunities. The team expects to seek the increasing trust from the residents by providing more information of the issues with which the residents are most concerned in an attempt to fulfill the commitment in response to community's request. Nevertheless, by enhancing the series courses of voluntary empowerment in effort to proceed the communication with the community, arousing the public concern to the water resources, and further promoting the participation of the related water conservancy facilities for a better understanding of the impacts of the water resources policy, which in return not only benefits the implementation of the ongoing policy but also helps smooth the process for the future policy.

Zengwen Reservoir

The project sets up the curriculum of "Tainan Water Resource Culture" general education course at Tainan University. The students electing the course all felt satisfied highly. In the end of the curriculum, the students finished the initial results of teaching aids, travel, and teaching plans. And build a complete online course for all people.

After the implementation of the project, the learning alliance of the Zengwen Reservoir and the Zengwen River Basin has been formed, and creates a dialogue network based on it.

The members of the learning alliance of the Zengwen Reservoir and the Zengwen River Basin are mainly volunteers of Southern Region Water Resources Office, WRA, MOEA and members of the local Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals concerned with public affairs. The learning alliance courses include people, water, soil, sand, time and space in Tainan. After learning, the members have a comprehensive grasp of the situation of people, water, soil and sand in the environmental history of Zengwen River.

The courses of the learning alliance planned by the project, having high satisfactions, so that the dialogues of the workshops do not limited to the current problems, but can include the current problems of Zengwen Reservoir from the perspective of environmental history. The members agreed those issues should conform to nature, sediment transport to river, and respect the local habitants’ rights and culture of all stakeholders in the basin.

The Zengwen Reservoir changes the natural environment of the Zengwen River. Through the project, the fair use of water resources, the flood control operation and sediment transport of Zengwen River, and especially the local residents’ living rights are the issues of concern to stakeholders.

Donggang River

The present program aims to develop the exchange of information between each competent authority and local habitants in the basin of Donggang River and to establish the newly partnership. The concepts and methods of field investigation, water quality examination, the platform of communication in citizen participation, the cooperation between government and contractor, and the workshops are conducted to attempt to establish the participation in network on water quality improvement year by year. These are carried to change the level of water quality of Donggang River from upstream to Chaozhou Bridge into level A, which are provided to competent authority of water resource for evaluating the possibility in the use of raw water for public used.

The two main issues in Donggang River improvement were the river safety prevention and water quality improvement, and among them, the promotion of policy on river safety improvement were going well, which became an important issue that the competent authority devoted to improve. However, the competent authority handled Basin of Donggang River including central, local in the vertical way, and water resource, environmental protection, agriculture, and forestry in the horizontal way, and these caused the difficulties to discuss and communicate with each other, and cooperation being a hard challenging.

The project, “Keep promoting citizens to participate the stream protection activity”, “Co-operating project executed by the cooperation between government and contractor”, and “The communicating platform between government and contractor” were the executing contents for keeping the opportunity to retain stream water quality through people’s guarding activities and the cooperation between government and contractor.

1. Keep promoting citizens to participate the stream protection activity

For establishing willing of water protection, the theme was “The activity of claiming spring stream in basin of Donggang River”, which set the five claiming location including “The adoption of model in upstream of Minzhi stream- Chaozhou, location of spring”, “Jian-Gon community developing association in Sinbi Township claim the upstream of Niu-Pu stream”, “Female new knowledge developing association in Kan-Ding township claim the national wetland in old water course of Donggang River”, “The adoption of upstream of Jia-Ping stream by Xin-Tsuo community developing association in Wanluan Township”, and “The adoption of Chi-San new drainage located at upstream of Jia-Ping stream by Chi-San community developing association in Wanluan Township”.

After the adoption and rising abnormal, and through the conversation between each association, to respond the problems of the unsatisfied execution mechanisms to authorities on environmental protection with the platform of “Native geography of Donggang Rver Basin” established in the present project. The associations thought about that to facilitate the inspection in complete related to the confidence and active of citizens for claiming, and therefore, it was necessary to urge government to keep the inspection following the resolution.

The project, the announcement of illegal events were raised continuously by Jian-Gon community developing association, and the active patrol by officers of Sinbi Township and the co-participation with other communities were collocated to be the first case of “Team of village people for actively patrolling”, which inspired the other four teams through news reports and information shared via internet to create life experiences showing “you are not alone”. These revealed the expanding efficiency of the widening participation of citizens for the stream protection.

2. Co-operating project executed by the cooperation between government and contractor

The co-operating project “The establishment of manure fermentation supply platform in community model” executed by the cooperation between government and contractor following the policy on biogas residue and liquid from the livestock fermented manure used for the nutrition in agriculture held by Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan (EY) was promoted together with Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, Council of Agriculture (COA), EY, and section of Livestock in Department of Agriculture and section of Water Pollution Control in Environment Protection Bureau, Pingtung County.

The massive field investigation and the information collected and analyzed from production and marketing groups, and livestock farmers were conducted by our teams in the present project, and in addition, the Sha-Lun community of Sinbi Township and local livestock farmers were matched in public and private forming the promoting group through the establishment of workshop platform “Opportunity occurrence in gold manure”. In the future, the aims of the scopes were to establish a partnership through manure fermentation supply platform, and to create a brand of green pork.

3. The communicating platform between government and contractor

The authorities and associations were invited to communicate with each other following the specific issues in an activity “Native geography of Donggang River Basin” held by “Taiwan Blue Donggang River Reservation Association” in the present project. Following the scopes of promoting policy on re-used biogas residue and liquid from fermented manure and the discussion on the present inspection mechanism, not only the government officers and executing units to share the results by phase were invited, but also the discussion focused on two issues carried out by officers and people via the platform of workshop, and these helped to achieve the goals of efficiency on public-private talk through thinking and information exchange. The direct talk among Water Resources Agency, Environmental Protection Administration, and Council of Agriculture via this platform established the professional interaction, and provided experiences to promote the policy better. In addition, authority conferred by Administrative Procedure Law was applied by Pingtung County government for the cleaning squadron in local Township involving in the patrol to overcome the difficulties in the loss of manpower, together with the development of experiences and abilities in practical, to be the possible solution of the public power and credibility establishment.