Society for Wildlife And Nature, SWAN. International
The Society for Wildlife and Nature (SWAN) International is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, founded in 1982 in Taiwan by scholars, legislators, businessmen, students and nature lovers who shared a keen concern for wildlife and the natural environment. SWAN began as an organization focusing mainly on conservation issues in Taiwan. However, with its increasing involvement in international conservation activities, SWAN has established chapters in several countries since 1990, and has become an international organization dedicated to worldwide conservation.
Throughout the years, SWAN international has supported many research and conservation projects worldwide, particularly in Asia and Africa. It has conducted many educational programs and activities to promote public awareness of conservation and has participated in many conservation-related international events, as well as cooperating with various other international conservation groups. SWAN international is looking forward to making a greater contribution to nature conservation worldwide in the new millennium.
1. The conservation, study, and cultivation of wild animals and plants.
2. The protection of natural scenery and habitats.
3. Research and prevention of environmental pollution.
4. Providing guidance and information for nature conservation.
5. Promoting public awareness, training and education of nature conservation.
6. Academic research relating to conservation.
7. Translation and publication of conservation-related books and magazines.
8. Cooperation with international conservation organizations.
COMMITTEES AND ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN SWAN
● Academic Publications Committee
● Research and Development Committee
● Publishing Committee
● Public Relations Committee
● Education Committee
● Events Promotion Committee
● International Conservation Research and Development Committee
● Membership Promotion and Member Relations Committee
● Cross-Strait Conservation Promotion Committee
● Funding Committee
● Public Health Committee
● Whale and Dolphin Committee
● TRAFFIC Taipei Branch
OUR WORK IN TAIWAN
For many years, our work has focused on developing conservation in Taiwan, from advocacy for national parks and conservation policies to dealing with sanctions imposed by the Pelly Amendment. The scope of our Taiwan-focused work can be seen in the variety of projects and activities that we run: ecology seminars, public lectures and workshops, study camps, species reintroductions, book fairs, beach cleaning, litter pickups, fun-runs, painting and film competitions, tree plantings, introduced species control… The results of our hard work are clear to see across the island, and our activities have activities have involved countless professionals and members of the public from all walks of life.
OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
SWAN has been proud to host many prominent academics and representatives from conservation organizations overseas, including Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, in his capacity as chair of the international bird conservation organization ICBP (now BirdLife International). This visit resulted in the burning of confiscated ivory and ivory products, demonstrating Taiwan's determination to combat trade in illegal wildlife products.
In 1991, the Taipei Office of TRAFFIC was formally integrated into SWAN, becoming TRAFFIC's 12th branch office, which has since had a significant impact upon illegal wildlife trade in Taiwan.
SWAN became a partner organization of the WWF in 2001. We edited and translated the WWF textbook ‘Windows on the Wild: Biodiversity Basics' , which was then published in 2003. We also hosted three American teachers who held a workshop on using this teaching resource. This was the beginning of our international workshop program, which has since received widespread praise, with teachers in many different fields helping to foster a more effective and practicable approach to conservation in Taiwan.
In October 2000, we hosted the Paraguayan Ambassador and a group of Paraguayan conservation professionals, with the intention of helping to organize official protection of important bird areas in the South American country. Considering our unique and unfortunate international position in Taiwan, our hard work has enabled us to forge unconventional paths in cooperating with international conservation organizations. We now participate in all manner of international events and agreements. For several years, we have acted as Taiwan representatives at meetings of the IUCN, WWF, CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity. We will continue to ensure that Taiwan has an established footing in these crucial international conservation events, and will play our part in striving for the preservation of the earth's natural diversity.
In October 1990, SWAN led several Taiwanese academics and writers on a visit to the Botanical Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. This marked the beginning of a fruitful cross-strait cooperation. Since 2000, we have taken turns in hosting the annual Cross-Straits Seminar on Biodiversity Protection and Uses, while we have also collaborated in establishing a cross-straits quarantine process to ensure effective disease prevention since 2001. We have excellent relationships with our mainland partners, and we believe that mutual sharing of experience can have a significant impact upon conservation projects on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Wildlife protection laws were finally put in place in Taiwan in 1989. The government has subsequently established multiple conservation bodies and effected various conservation projects, while several other non-governmental conservation organizations have appeared. Public awareness and understanding of conservation is continually improving, the result of many years’ hard work in education and conservation promotion.
But this does not mean our work is done. Indeed, Taiwan is still facing major issues that need addressing. The work we do is not only for the benefit of Taiwan alone; in protecting Taiwan's natural heritage, we are helping to preserve a precious part of the earth's natural beauty for the whole of humanity. We cannot exist without nature, and as we have only one world, we must do all we can to protect it.