UNEP recognizes China's Chongming Island as green economy model

Updated: 2014-03-11 17:42


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UNEP recognizes China's Chongming Island as green economy model

A local resident looks at participants as they compete at the Chongming Island Women's Tour, part of the 2013 UCI Women's Road World Cup, in Chongming Island, Shanghai, May 12, 2013. [Photo/Agencies] 

SHANGHAI - China's experiment in developing a green economy on Chongming Island in east China's Shanghai has been recognized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a recommended model of green economic development.

UNEP on Monday published its evaluation report on the ecological status of Chongming Island. The island is the world's largest alluvial island and the least developed district of China's commercial hub of Shanghai.

Covering an area of 1,267 square km, Chongming was approved as a national development zone for sustainable development in 2010, and UNEP was invited by the Chinese government to evaluate the eco-island construction project.

Achim Steiner, UNEP's executive director, said in the report that the core values of Chongming's eco-development reflect UNEP's green economy vision.

Development on the island, which has a population of some 600,000, has effectively integrated social, environmental and economic perspectives, according to UNEP's evaluation.

Chongming has a unique setting as a rural county within a highly-urbanized municipality. It mirrors the complicated challenges and pressures that the world's ecosystems face today, including food security, poverty eradication and creating a sustainable future.

The island's wetlands have been preserved, and its traditional village has been renovated and preserved. Green and organic agriculture and eco-friendly industries have developed as economic pillars.

UNEP's report says Chongming can serve as "an ideal ecological demonstration area in Shanghai, and as a special region which focuses on ecological civilization to serve as a world model."

After three decades of rapid economic growth at the expense of the environment, many cities in China have seen depleted resources and aggravated pollution. Local governments are looking for ways to achieve economic transition for sustainable development.

UNEP suggested that the Chongming model can be promoted in China as an example in developing a green economy for less developed regions.