NPUST Helps Organize 2023 Linhou Silin Satoyama Fair

In their fourth year of cooperation, the Pingtung Branch of the Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency and the NPUST Community Forestry Center jointly organized the “2023 Linhou Silin Satoyama Fair” on two separate weekends, one month apart—the first taking place on October 14~15 and the second, set for November 18~19. Community tribes, friendly small farmers, cuisine specialists, and craft artists from the Kaohsiung and Pingtung (Kao-Ping) were invited to participate in event, showcase their products, and help promote the “Satoyama” lifestyle. The market enjoyed a lively opening at 10 am on Oct. 14 (Saturday), with 55 stalls set up for perusal. Management teams from the Wutai Township Natural Culture and Ecological Landscape Area and the Shihbaluohanshan Forest Reserve were invited to participate in the grand affair, and share information on the resource conservation actions their two communities are taking and the ways they are utilizing ecological resources to conduct rural development and conservation-based economies.

This market brought together producers of diversified fresh fruits and agricultural products such as cocoa, lemons, coffee, mangoes, red beans and candied dates. Culinary specialists used local ingredients to make delicacies, such as cherry blossom shrimp sausage, low GI sour dough bread, Hakka cuisine, hand-brewed coffee and other kinds of enjoyments for the taste buds. Handmade goods included everything from traditional bark cloth products to modern textiles, woodworking crafts to paper art, and essential oil fragrances to handmade soaps. So, whether it be an easy trip alone or group excursion with friends or family, visitors to the 2023 Linhou Silinlishan Market had a great opportunity to bring home fresh, natural and culturally rich local products. They also had a chance to enjoy musical performances by local artists, with a lineup that included 6 well-known performance groups from the Kao-Ping area creating a lively and spirited atmosphere.

DIY activities with flavors of the Wutai Tribe were also organized for visitors, involving such things as “weaving with glass beads”, “handmade traditional tribal food”, “beeswax cloth leaf pattern rolling”, and “shell ginger moisturizer lotion”. The experiential activities gave participants a deeper understanding of the “under forest economy”, and helped build awareness of the environmental protection. For the first fair, the experiential activities where scheduled from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm each day, with two sessions per day.

Adopting the spirit of the Satoyama Initiative and applying principles of biodiversity conservation in their effort to provide long-term support to community tribes, the Pingtung Branch of the Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency has worked closely with Professor Meihui Chen at NPUST for many years to develop eco-tourism, under forest economies, friendly agriculture and other local community-based deep economies. The “deep economy” concept is highly respected at home and abroad, and combines academic theory with practical operation while encouraging cooperation between industry, government and academia. The efforts being made by the teams are gradually bearing fruit in local areas, which is why the organizers hoped to use the markets to continue to promote environmental friendliness, organic farming, carbon reduction, and related food and agriculture education. The idea is to create a platform that allows people to purchase products directly from small farmers and communities, so that local micro-industries and community tribes can communicate, exchange knowledge, and sell their goods. The Linhou Silinlishan Forest Park, where the market was held, is an open space, full of greenery—and with the musical performances helping to set the mood, the public could browse the market freely while taking in the music and the clean forest air. The first market, which was held on October 14~15 attracted nearly 10,000 visitors. The second market will take place on November 18~19, and hopes are to see a great turn out of people looking to enjoy an unforgettable autumn experience.