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Taiwan seen as valuable contributor to Austronesian community

2012/11/27 20:20:55

Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) Taiwan has much to offer its Austronesian partners in the field of aboriginal research, education and environmental protection, an Australian expert on Austronesian cultures said Tuesday.

Taiwan has a legitimate place in Pacific community affairs and could help in areas such as education, research and marine protection, given its economic and technological strength, said Paul D'Arcy, a research fellow at Australian National University.

"Taiwan is uniquely placed to develop a more rounded, comprehensive approach by combining Austronesian linkages," D'Arcy said at the opening of a conference on Austronesian cultures in Taipei.

For instance, he said, Taiwan could contribute to academic research on Austronesian Taiwanese spirituality and indigenous forms of knowledge as a means of empowering Pacific Islanders.

Taiwan could also help provide access to education in the scattered Pacific Islands by introducing the technology for distance education there, D'Arcy said.

He also suggested that Taiwan work hand in hand with Austronesian countries on marine resource management in an effort to reverse the decline of fish stocks and the environmental health of the Pacific Ocean, since these are issues of common interest.

Now in its 10th year, the conference was held to strengthen Taiwan's connection with Austronesian cultures.

Government officials and scholars from a dozen countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Solomon Islands, are attending the two-day conference.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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