Pro­gram brings life back to coast­lines

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By MA ZHIPING in Sanya, Hainan mazhip­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Land­lords have raised rents this win­ter for apart­ments along Sanya Bay in Sanya, a renowned re­sort in trop­i­cal Hainan prov­ince that sees up to 100,000 tourists a day dur­ing ma­jor hol­i­days.

And they have good rea­son: the beaches have been ex­panded and filled with good qual­ity sand, more trees have been planted and more birds can be seen fly­ing and danc­ing over the sea.

“We don’t care about the rent in­creases be­cause we have a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment and en­joy our­selves more here than be­fore,” said Lao Wang, from north­east­ern Jilin prov­ince, who “flies south” with his wife to Sanya dur­ing win­ter.

Wang was among the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Sanya’s na­tional pi­lot city bet­ter­ment and eco­log­i­cal restora­tion pro­grams ini­ti­ated by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in April last year as a new ap­proach to the sus­tain­able so­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment of Chi­nese cities.

Orig­i­nally a fish­ing vil­lage, Sanya, fa­vored by its unique lo­ca­tion and nat­u­ral re­sources, has seen rapid growth in tourism and ur­ban­iza­tion, with its pop­u­la­tion dou­bling from 300,000 when it be­came a city in 1988 to more than 600,000 to­day. In 2015, the city re­ceived about 15 mil­lion visi­tors from home and abroad.

Rampant growth has led Sanya to suf­fer from com­mon city prob­lems such as eco­log­i­cal de­te­ri­o­ra­tion, wa­ter pol­lu­tion and con­struc­tion chaos.

“The real na­ture of city bet­ter­ment and eco­log­i­cal restora­tion is a way of think­ing aimed at pro­mot­ing the up­grad­ing of ur­ban plan­ning and devel­op­ment con­cepts and progress in city man­age­ment poli­cies,” said Zhang Bing, chief plan­ner of the China Acad­emy of Ur­ban Plan­ning and De­sign, who has been in charge of the gen­eral de­sign and plan­ning of Sanya’s pi­lot pro­grams.

Sea and the coast­lines are the “soul” of Sanya. The Sanya gov­ern­ment started its eco­log­i­cal restora­tion ef­forts by sav­ing the coast­lines in April last year. mil­lion yuan

Zhang Huazhong, di­rec­tor of the city’s marine and fish­ery bureau, said that Sanya has in­vested about 20 mil­lion yuan ($3.03 mil­lion) in the Sanya Bay project, a key part of the restora­tion pro­gram. Through bring­ing in new sand, about 2.6 kilo­me­ters of beaches have been re­turned to their orig­i­nal state and a large num­ber of man­groves, which are salt-re­sis­tant, wind­proof and good for sta­bi­liz­ing the sand, have been planted along the coast.

Another im­por­tant part of Sanya’s eco­log­i­cal restora­tion pro­gram is curb­ing the pol­lu­tion of the city’s rivers and streams. By the end of June, the city had built 58 km of sewage pipelines and 19 sewage treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties.

More than 200 aqua­cul­ture farms that con­trib­ute to pol­lu­tion in the wa­ter­ways were shut down, ac­cord­ing to Chen Lin, an of­fi­cial with the city’s wa­ter re­sources bureau.

The ef­forts are bear­ing fruit. Rare marine species like the Chi­nese white dol­phin have been dis­cov­ered along Sanya’s shores, in­di­cat­ing the wa­ter qual­ity of Sanya Bay is get­ting bet­ter and there are more fish — the food of dol­phins.

Wang Tiem­ing, vice-mayor of Sanya, said: “This is only the be­gin­ning of our city devel­op­ment and man­age­ment trans­for­ma­tion. We will strictly carry out the gen­eral plans to build a happy city for the peo­ple and put Sanya on a real green and sus­tain­able track.”

“Sanya has a long way to go. But it still can serve as a good demon­stra­tion for other cities in that the lo­cal gov­ern­ment now has a very clear un­der­stand­ing that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween peo­ple and na­ture must be re­stored and it is now time to seek qual­ity growth for the city,” said Zhang, the chief plan­ner.

“The city has suc­ceeded in mo­bi­liz­ing all so­cial sec­tors, gov­ern­ment or­gans, en­ter­prises, so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions and even chil­dren to be in­volved in the city bet­ter­ment and eco­log­i­cal pro­grams in their own ways,” Zhang said, adding that the city has laid a solid foun­da­tion for the con­tin­u­a­tion of the city bet­ter­ment ef­forts by es­tab­lish­ing ba­sic le­gal rules to en­sure long-term suc­cess.

the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion is home to three — China is the top, fol­lowed by Ja­pan and In­dia.

The in­ad­e­quate treat­ment of waste can cause air pol­lu­tion, espe­cially when hazardous waste is burned without con­trols, and de­grades in soil and wa­ter, caus­ing huge eco­nomic costs, it said.

For ex­am­ple, the im­pact of plas­tic on marine ecosys­tems is es­ti­mated to be at least $13 bil­lion an­nu­ally.

The UNEP called for more in­vest­ment and stronger gov­er­nance, in­clud­ing poli­cies to reg­u­late the grow­ing waste pol­lu­tion. Num­ber of tourists who vis­ited Sanya, South China’s Hainan prov­ince, last year Amount that Sanya has in­vested in the Sanya Bay project, a key part of the city’s eco­log­i­cal restora­tion pro­gram

ZHU XI­ANG / XIN­HUA

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