Business / Green China

Eco-island points the way for green building

By Wang Hongyi in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-13 08:33

The United Nations has praised green initiatives on Shanghai's Chongming Island and will cite them in its publications as a prime example of ways to boost ecological development.

It is the first time the United Nations Environment Programme issued an evaluation report, released in Shanghai on Monday, dealing with a particular area in a major city of a developing country.

Eco-island points the way for green building

Eco-island points the way for green building

The Chongming Eco-Island International Report focused on the island's development model, such as environmental protection, green economy, energy efficiency and eco-agriculture.

"The core values of Chongming Island reflect the green economy vision of UNEP, which identifies ecosystem management as one of the working priorities to ensure that the natural capital of ecosystems is valued and integrated in decision making," Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP, said in the report.

China's rapid development has brought about major challenges on its natural resources and the environment. Energy-efficiency and environmentally friendly economic development models are now a priority.

Shanghai championed an eco-civilization concept in the development of Chongming, the country's third-largest island.

The island in the Yangtze River estuary covers about one-fifth of the municipality. It is the world's largest alluvial and sand island. Chongming remains one of the least developed parts of the municipality.

In 2010, Shanghai released the Chongming Eco-Island Construction Outline, which provided the framework and set the targets for the establishment of a world-class eco-area by 2020.

From 2010 to 2012, the city invested about 14 billion yuan ($2.28 billion) in the island, covering such areas as sustainable resources, pollution control, development of ecology-oriented industries, infrastructure and public services.

Eco-island points the way for green building"We hope that the development of Chongming eco-island will work as a reference point for the global community. Its experiences can be of great benefit," said Wang Zhijia, special adviser to the executive director of UNEP.

Wang said UNEP will continue to work with Shanghai and provide more technological support for the island's ecological development.

The UNEP report proposed a series of recommendations, such as establishing a Chongming Special Ecological Zone.

"The island could be treated as a special region that focuses on ecological civilization to serve as a world model, following the model of a special economic zone," Wang said.

Feng Zhiyong, deputy governor of Chongming Island, said the county is looking at developing knowledge-based industries for future development.

"Chongming's environment is exceptional, and it is renowned for the longevity of its residents. We are considering developing the care industry, with hospitals, nursing homes and other support facilities," Feng said.



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