Hainan prioritizes low-carbon tourism development
The island that is China’s southernmost point has been actively developing a green economy since the Chinese government put a plan into action to make it an international resort destination.
Billions of dollars have since been invested into the island in the last few years, with the hopes that Hainan, also known as the ‘Hawaii of the far east’ will reach the status of a top international tourist destination by 2020.
Located on the same latitude as Hawaii, Hainan Island experiences a tropical climate with 300 days of full sunshine each year, making it a perfect setting for solar-powered energy.
Experts have discussed how to promote ecological architecture, construction materials, increased energy-saving building materials in architecture and the reduction of energy consumption.
Hainan has the potential to develop solar and wind energy technology and apply it to construction, achieving maximum energy savings and being more environmentally friendly, said Ji Zhi Jiang, Branch Secretary of the China Building Material Federation.
He also encouraged the adoption of green environmental building materials, and making full use of natural resources to reduce environmental damage, such as focusing on wind energy to reduce the amount of air conditioning on the island.
Agriculture has been a specific focus of the government’s green and low-carbon scheme, mainly through the implementation of irrigation and water conservation technologies.
The Yangliu village in Changjiang city that previously relied on electrical energy for irrigation was the first area to have a solar irrigation system installed. The Solartech solar system converts irradiation from sunlight into electrical energy to draw water up from 15 metres underground.
According to Solartech, the system generates 15,330 kWh of electricity each year. Over a 25-year period, the system is able to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, soot and ash by 63 tons, 2.8 tons, 2.16 tons and 37.44 tons respectively, and saves up to 144 tons of standard coal.
Transportation on the island has also undergone a review to make it more environmentally friendly, with the construction of ‘green roads’ including thousands of kilometres of bicycle lanes. The emerging middle class is becoming more attracted to riding bicycles which has in turn impacted upon China’s bike industry.
Hainan Island has a reputation of being one of the cleanest provinces in China, with excellent air quality and environmental quality of water. As Hainan’s Governer Luo said, ‘ecology is the life of Hainan. To build an international tourism island, it is necessary to create a vacation paradise for tourists, but also the happiness of the people building homes in Hainan.’
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