Alishan Forest Railway was granted significant cultural landscape status July 9 by the Ministry of Culture, paving the way for increased government funding to preserve and promote the unique heritage asset.
The popular tourist line in southern Taiwan's Chiayi County is the first historic resource to be elevated to significant status. This new national-level designation is an upgrade from the locally awarded cultural landscape label.
Speaking at the conferment ceremony, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun said that in line with the new status, an MOC project office will be established in Chiayi Cultural and Creative Industries Park to oversee tourism activities spotlighting the railway's history and tea culture.
This facility is expected to strengthen collaboration between the central and local governments, as well as public-private partnerships, on related promotional measures, Cheng added.
Alishan Forest Railway was constructed during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945) to transport timber. Running for 71.4 kilometers, the railway is famed for its Z-shaped switchbacks and stunning mountainous terrain.
Chiayi County Government named the railway a cultural landscape in 2011. Defined in an amendment to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act in 2016, this designation refers to places noted for their aesthetic, anthropological, ethnological or historical value.
The MOC is stepping up efforts to safeguard local heritage and spotlight the country's diverse cultural roots. Under the Culture Basic Law promulgated June 5, the ministry provides guidelines for enhancing arts and culture education, promoting language development and preserving cultural assets in Taiwan.
Source: Taiwan Today