The main duties of the Department of Planning include drafting and researching indigenous policies, systems and regulations, conducting integrated planning and coordination indigenous affairs and carrying out surveys, collection, analysis and publishing of indigenous-related data and information. In addition, the department is responsible for matters pertaining to the status and identity of indigenous peoples and tribes, providing assistance in the development of traditional tribal organization and coordination of tribal relationships. Planning for and promotion of indigenous autonomy and providing guidance, coordination and supervision for autonomous administration also fall under the scope of Department of Planning duties.
The Department of Planning is comprised of two section: Planning and Indigenous Autonomy and Supervision, Evaluation and Information Management.
Under Article 34 of the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law, the Planning and Indigenous Autonomy Section is responsible for the study, drafting and revision of regulation, including those concerning intellectual property rights for creative activities based on traditional knowledge, draft plan for the establishment of a committee to oversee promotion of Indigenous Peoples Basic law and draft regulation for the establishment of an indigenous peoples cultural enterprise foundation.
To complement President Chen Shi-bian’s proposal for a section of the Constitution devoted to indigenous peoples, the Planning and Indigenous Autonomy Section commissioned experts and scholars to create a first draft of clauses to be included in the Constitution, and held briefings to collect opinions from a broad spectrum of indigenous people. The section also conducted a study of the results of a survey of indigenous traditions and customs and assessment of currently enforced regulation. Municipalities and county (city) governments were commissioned to organize briefings on the contents of the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law.
To complement the core concepts and promotional strategies of the six-star action plan for the building of healthy communities, the section has implemented an indigenous village sustainable development plan and continuously carries out surveys of indigenous villages to identity specific and practical models for sustainable development and to identify and develop the unique characteristics of each indigenous community.
To assist in resolving the financial difficulties of township (town and city) administration in indigenous areas, 55 township (town and city) administrative offices in indigenous areas are receiving subsidies for annual expenditures for the establishment and maintenance of basic facilities and infrastructure. To strengthen services to urban-dwelling indigenous peoples, the department has also put forth an urban-dwelling indigenous peoples life development program, which includes funding for municipalities and county (city) governments carrying out related projects. The department conducts symposia for government officials and training for indigenous peoples that have passed special civil service examinations to enhance their administrative abilities.
To strengthen exchanges between Taiwan’s indigenous peoples and the peoples of Austronesian nations, the Supervision, Evaluation and Information Management Section carefully selected indigenous representative to attend the 4th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. During the forum, the indigenous Peoples Basic Law of Taiwan was introduced and two workshops were held on indigenous health issues, allowing Taiwan’s indigenous peoples the opportunity to shar their development experiences with the international community.
In addition, the section promotes active involvement in other international indigenous exchanges including acceptance of an invitation to the 1st annual Assembly of First Nations of Canada and the 11th annual Taiwan-New Zealand Economics and Trade Advisory Conference. This section has also arranged for indigenous representative from Taiwan to visit Canada and New Zealand for international indigenous affairs training and assisted the Kaohsiung City Government Commission of Indigenous Affairs with the organizing of the “Austronesian Ambassador Ship” visitation program to the Philippines’ Batan Islands.
The Supervision, Evaluation and Information Management Section organized an Austronesian forum, attended by 11 representatives from Austronesian nations and experts and scholars interested in indigenous issues.