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The Trees Party (traditional Chinese: 樹黨; simplified Chinese: 树党) is a minor political party in Taiwan. The core ideology of the party is environmentalism, and it is commonly identified as a "third force" party belonging to neither the Pan-Blue or Pan-Green Coalitions. The party was formed in 2014 as a splinter group of the Green Party Taiwan by brothers Pan Han-sheng and Pan Han-chiang.
In 2014 Pan Han-sheng, one of the "stars" of the Green Party Taiwan (GPT), left the fold to start a new party, the Trees Party with his brother, Pan Han-chiang, a development described as "damaging" to the GPT. Despite this, the Green Party Taiwan responded to the announcement of the formation of the Trees Party by "welcoming their strong stance on the protection of trees". While several articles in the English-language media refer to the party as the "Tree Party", the formal English name as stated in the constitution is the "Trees Party".
In the wake of Typhoon Soudelor in August 2015 the party commented to the media that rapid urbanisation, with trees hemmed in by cement and asphalt, contributed to the three thousand trees in Taipei City that were uprooted during the storm.
There are six core policy positions articulated in the party constitution: environmental stewardship, social justice, upholding participatory democracy, pacifism, sustainable development, and respect for diversity. The constitution also commits the party to "defending trees and Mother Earth from human greed and ignorance".
The party sees its mission as:
- Increasing public awareness of the global environmental crisis, with political action proposed as the main solution
- Nominating candidates to participate in elections
- Proposing public policy
- Providing educational programs and publications and encouraging citizen participation
- Promoting exchanges and cooperation between domestic and foreign political groups and local environmental groups
- Other matters to promote an environment conducive to political development
in the November 2014 9-in-1 elections the party won one seat in the Yilan County council. In the race for the Taipei City Council, the party polled 2.1% of the total votes cast, winning no seats. In the same set of elections, the party won one mayoral race, for Jiji Township in Nantou County. The mayor resigned from the party on 24 June 2015.
- Trees Party Constitution (in Chinese), Trees Party
- Loa Iok-sin, Belle Yu draws DPP’s eye, Taipei Times
- Lii Wen, 2014 ELECTIONS: Smaller parties clinch big victories, Taipei Times
- Loa Iok-sin, Tree Party aims to speak for trees, wildlife, youth, Taipei Times
- Dafydd Fell, The battle for third place: Prospects for Taiwan’s small parties in local elections
- 綠黨聲明：關於綠黨黨員另組樹黨一事 (in Chinese), 苦勞網
- 3,000 Trees Uprooted in Taipei City, Trees Party Claims Protection Problems (in Chinese), NTD TV
- 2014 Local Elections - Yilan County, Central Election Commission
- 2014 Local Elections - Taipei City Municipal Councilor Election, Central Election Commission
- 2014 Local Elections - Jiji Township, Central Election Commission
- "樹黨對於集集鎮長陳紀衡過度修剪老榕樹之聲明 - 樹黨".