WORLD> Green Ideas
Growing both the economy and environment
By Xu Shenglan (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-12-10 07:57

Growing both the economy and environment

Haikou, capital of Hainan province, tempts many tourist palates with its abundant seafood and fresh local fruit.

The city is also notable for its economic and social development. Its fiscal revenue surged by 43 times in the past 20 years, when it first became a special economic zone. Regional GDP grew by 23 times over the same period.

The city invested heavily in developing circular economy while making innovation in long-term environmental management for sustainable social and economic development. Even during its industrialization and urbanization, environmental protection remained at the top of the city's development agenda.

Environmental awareness

Its investment in the environment has grown year by year since 2001 when the city built a sewage plant with daily capacity to purify 300,000 tons of wastewater and a disposal plant able to handle 1,000 tons of garbage every day. During the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10), the city is expected to add three more sewage treatment facilities.

Another six treatment facilities began operation in June this year, and another economic development zone in the downtown area began construction on October 21.

With an investment of 200 million yuan, the 6 hectares urban treatment facility is designed to handle 50,000 tons of effluent, which will expand to 260,000 tons in the future. The facility is expected to enter into service next year.

Haikou also installed desulfurization equipment on six generators at the local Huaneng Power Plant that has helped lower sulfur dioxide emissions for the first time in 2008.

Haikou Meilan International Airport is expected to save 380,000 tons of water and more than 52 million kWh of electricity, together valued at nearly 4.2 million yuan by more efficient management of water, electricity, equipment and use of energy-efficient technology.

The city will also save 10 million yuan in annual electricity costs using solar-powered lamps along main streets and wind generators for 18,000 streetlights of arterial roads. In the next five years, Haikou plans to invest 4 billion yuan in 43 new energy projects using solar cells, recycled garbage, wind and marsh gas.

Environmental quality

 Growing both the economy and environment

Local government brings books to the countryside.

Haikou has investigated over the city's pollution sources, including 5,357 residential sources, 835 industrial sites, five waste treatment facilities and 3,889 agricultural sources.

It also declined approval of coal-fired boiler projects, and restricted coal use in downtown areas after it was named a National Environmental Protection Model City in 2000.

The environmental quality of Haikou tops cities in 113 countries, recording good air quality and completely safe water every day in first three quarters in 2008.

The city ranked No 1 three years in a row in the province for urban environment comprehensive improvement.

Clean drinking water

Longtang town is at the major source of Haikou's drinking water.

The city has invested 79 million yuan in environmental projects to protect Longtang's water supply, including a refuse transfer station and public toilets that were installed in the first phase in 2005 with a total investment of 35 million yuan.

A 6,500-m-long sewer network and 5,600-m storm runoff system were built in 2006 at the cost of more than 23 million yuan.

In 2007 construction began on a 19 million yuan treatment plant capable of handling 5,000 tons of sewage every day that will start trial operations before the end of this year.

A greenbelt project along the banks of the waterway from Longtang Dam to Longtang hydrological station will stretch 1.4 km and cover a total area of 6 hectares.

(China Daily 12/10/2008 page19)