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History of the Department


1, History of the Department

School of Forestry and Resources Conservation (formerly known as the Department of Forestry, hereinafter referred to in this term) was founded at year 1925, under the name of "Taipei higher agriculture and forestry schools" which aim was to train technical personnel for the developing advanced forestry techniques. At year 1928, the Taipei Imperial University was established and set up its special subsidiary Agriculture and Forestry Department by combining it with the Taipei Higher Agricultural and Forestry School.

At year 1945, Taiwan was returned to the Chinese rule; the Chinese Government's took over the Taipei Imperial University and renamed it as “National Taiwan University”. The provincial government foresaw the importance of forest resources and forest management, therefore there was an imminent need of cultivating talent in the area of forestry science, the provincial government thereby suggested to the National Taiwan University about its plan to set up a Forestry department, which was agreed by the university. The university then sent the plan to the Ministry of Education, which subsequently permitted the university to set up the aforementioned department.

At the summer of year 1947 the university began to enroll new students and set up two research laboratories to start with, which were the “Afforestation Laboratory” and the “Forest use Laboratory”.

In year 1949 Professor Fu was inaugurated as the Principal of the university; in the same time the head of the Forestry Department, Professor Zhu Huifang felt deeply that Taiwan should follow the example of Germany, Japan and other developed countries to set up experimental forests for forestry use.

Furthermore, due to the superior geographical conditions of the former Tokyo Imperial University Taiwan Subsidiary Experimental Forests, with contain tropical, subtropical and temperate, etc. vertical forest belts. Therefore, Professor Zhu Huifang strongly suggested to

Principal Fu to set up the Experimental Forest. Due to the efforts of both Principal Fu and Professor Zhu Huifang, the University's experimental forest management division was successfully established at 1st of July of the year 1949 at Chushan Township at Nantou County.

The department's development entered the new era since the building of the Forestry Building at year 1959. On the first floor of the Forestry Hall there are “forest soil”, “forest products chemistry” and “wood physics” laboratories as well as a large audio-visual classroom; on the second floor there is a afforestation laboratory, forest management laboratory, and forestry use laboratory; on the third floor, there is a Herbarium specimen room, a tree study room, a practical classroom, a Silviculture Laboratory, a Forest Management internship classroom, and a timber specimen room; on the fourth floor there is a departmental reading room.

In terms of in-house facilities, the wax leaf samples and fruit samples have its foundation on the collections by Professor Saburo Tanaka of the Department of Horticulture from the Japanese colonial period. The collections were then expanded through several subsequent samplings and exchange. To the present day there are more than 100,000 copies of which woody, herbaceous plants and lichens have more than 3,000 species.

It is now one of the three largest herbariums in Taiwan along with the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute Herbarium and the Herbarium of National Taiwan University botany department.

Furthermore, we also have seed and timber Herbarium specimen room, which contain several hundreds of seed samples and wood specimens of 600 species collected from all over Taiwan as well as from Japan, Malaysia, Canada, the United States, Germany and various other places.

In addition, on April of year 1954, the "Taiwan's land-use and forest resources survey team" was formed by the Chinese Rural Construction Joint Commission as the chair, with the technical assistance by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Department as well as the participation by the Taiwan Provincial Agricultural and Forestry Office, Forestry Authority, the Forestry Research Institute, the Agricultural Experimental Agency as well as the collaborations by our department, to begin the work of interpreting and mapping photographs from aerial surveys, as well as carrying out ground investigations, which lasted two years. The completed statistical analysis report of these surveying then laid the foundation of studying aerial surveying in this department.

In year 1964, a graduate school was formed our department and we started to recruit graduate students for master classes. These graduate students were divided into four units, which were the “silviculture unit”, the “forest management unit”, the “forestry unit” and the “tree unit”, respectively.

In year 1967, the undergraduate division also starts to implement the unit system into the enrollment process. These units were “silviculture unit”, “forest management unit”, “forest industry unit” and the “forest vegetation unit”.

The initiation of this unit system is in reality a practice which lays the foundation of upgrading forestry research into a forestry college. In year 1974, the forestry department established its doctoral classes, and at the time it had became Taiwan's most complete tertiary education system in forestry science.

In response to the need of the time, in year 1987, the “tree unit” of the graduate school and the “forest plant unit” of the undergraduate school were renamed as the “Forest Resources Conservation Unit”. Furthermore, in year 1991, the “Forest Management unit” of the undergraduate school, was renamed as the “Resource Management Unit”.

Ever since its creation, the Forestry Department has always aiming for the cultivation of outstanding forestry science and forestry-related professionals to serve the need of the time in our country. We are committed to the cultivation of talents for silviculture, resource management, forest industry, forest resource conservation.

Since year 1967, our department started to recruit students by dividing into four units. These units are “silviculture”, “resource management”, “forest industry” and “forest resources and conservation”. This makes ours as the department which has the most unit division at National Taiwan University.

The department's educational objectives in accordance with the various units are: (1) Developing professionals for the plantation and conservation of forests whom can also use biological technology to improve the quality and productivity of forests (2) Developing professionals for the planning and management of forest resources as well as the environment (3) Developing professionals whom have the knowledge of forest product industry as well as soil and water conservation (4) Developing professionals who specializes in forest biological resources and environmental protection.



2, Reason for renaming

In recent years, there is an emphasis on integration and fostering specialist professionals both in university education at home and abroad, therefore, the assortment of students into units in our department actually causes their learning to be incomprehensive, and is inconsistent with the modern trend of course consolidation. For this reason, the department carried out course-rearrangement, cancelled the unit-assortment system, as well as renamed the course, in order to enable our department’s teaching objectives to be in line with the requirements of the modern era.


1.       Conform to world’s trend in environmental protection

During the 1960s, the first wave of environmental protection was mostly concentrated on the prevention of industrial waste as its objective. However over the years the problems of pollution in many industrialized countries have been put under control. A bigger problem facing humanity today is the global and intercontinental destruction of the natural environment. In 1992 the United Nations held a summit at Rio, Brazil to address global environmental problems. The summit raised an important specification and two international environmental conventions: the Forest Principles, the Convention on Climate Change Framework and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The three are closely related. Global forest destruction, including deforestation, forest development and forest fires, not only cause the reduction of carbon dioxide intake by the atmosphere, resulting in greenhouse effect; but also cause the damage of the world's largest terrestrial ecosystem: the forests, which endangers many organisms and their habitats. In addition to global environmental problems, inappropriate use of forest resources has also resulted in much local environmental damage. In Taiwan, the most serious problems are flash floods and landslides.

Industrialization and urbanization cause the majority of the world’s population living in crowded cities. In the cities of these industrialized countries, urban greeneries are provided to the public for recreational purposes as well as act as the space to let people get closer to nature

Taking Taipei as an example; the nearby Yangmingshan, Yuanshan and the Daan Forest Park in the city center are all indispensable to its citizens to maintain the quality of their living environment. All the above suggest that the protection of forest environment and the rational utilization of environmental resources are important issues for the sustainable development of the environment, hence for the name change to “Department of Forestry and Resource Conservation”, in order to expand our teaching and research area as well as to adapt to the world's trends.

2.       Integrates with the development of forestry education with various universities around the world

At present, it is of utmost importance to conserve forestry resources and the natural environment. The objectives of today’s forestry education concentrate primarily on the cultivation of professionals who specializes in forestry resource as well as environmental protection and their rational utilization.

The following table lists some domestic and international forestry-related colleges and departments. It is evident that there is a modern trend of integrating modern forestry practice and environmental education. The Forest Resources Conservation Unit and the Resource Management Unit of our department is among the first to be established in Taiwan. The alumni of our department now teach in various well-known Resource Management and Environmental Policy research institutes in Taiwan.

None of the universities in mainland China have forestry department, but there are independent forestry universities available. This suggests the wide range of coverage in forestry science education over there.

Beijing and Nanjing as well as Northeastern Forestry Universities of Mainland China all have subsidiary Environmental Resources-related colleges that offer degrees such as “forest management”, “soil conservation” and “forest cultivation”.

There is an integration of agricultural colleges in Japan over the past ten years. The Forest Science department of the University of Tokyo is equipped with forest biological sciences unit, forest resources unit and forest environmental science unit.

The United States also has Forestry and Environmental Science colleges or departments. For example, Yale University has a Forestry and Environmental Sciences Institute.

Berkeley University has Forestry and Resource Management Division, which is under the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management degree course.

Duke University also has a forest management course which is taught by the environmental science college of the university. Furthermore, many other universities in the U.S. also offer forestry, natural resources as well as environmental management-related degree courses.

Canada also has her own Forestry, Environmental Management, Natural Resources as well as Environmental Sciences-related departments, whereas Australia has her own forestry and resource conservation institutes instead.

As the name of the related domestic and international colleges and departments suggest, there was an expansion in the content of the forestry education to include element of environmental sciences in recent years.Due to the aforementioned renaming examples by various forestry departments around the world, our department was subsequently renamed to meet the international teaching standard.

3.       Correspond to the transformation in agricultural education of the university.

University education of Agricultural Science in Taiwan began during the Japanese occupation in the Taipei Imperial University Faculty of Agriculture.

After WWII, the university established the College of Agriculture, which is sub-divided into agronomy, agricultural engineering, agricultural chemistry, plant pathology, entomology, forestry science, animal husbandry, veterinary, horticulture, agricultural economics, agricultural promotion, agricultural machinery as well as food technology. However, due to the structural changes in Taiwan's agricultural sector in recent years, agricultural education must be restructured in the face of social change.

Applying biological resources and conservation technologies in order to maintain the sustainable development of biological resources and the environment has become the main direction of development for the future of agriculture education.

The university’s “College of Agriculture” was renamed in October 2002 as "College of Biological Resources and Agriculture" in order to adapt to the trend of modern agricultural education. Due to the aforementioned reason, the department intends to strengthen the integration of forestry science and environmental resource study. Therefore, it was renamed as the "Forestry and Resource Conservation" to enable the integration of the college’s teaching objective with that of the development of our department.