Xi'an's Chan-Ba Ecological District champions environmental transformation

Victor Ning China Plus Published: 2017-04-26 18:14:45
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The local government in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, has reported tremendous progress in ecological restoration and transformation. 

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

Previously an unregulated dump site, the city's Chan-Ba Ecological District (CBED) has grown into a green development zone with tremendous economic impact, in addition to becoming China's first nationally recognized ecological district.  

CBED was established in September 2004, with a planned area of 129 square kilometers. After years of rebuilding, the district now boasts five large urban parks, hosting 210 types of plants and 206 species of birds. The area's coverage rate of river and wetland reaches 15%, while the local forest coverage rate has reached 18%. 

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

However, Cheng Bin, a deputy director of the management committee of CBED, explained it was not too long ago that the area exhibited a completely different scenery. 

"13 years ago, this place was full of trash, sand holes and wild grass. The rivers, without proper management, had become the city's unofficial sewage pipes. The sand resources here, which can be used in construction, was transported and sold elsewhere. The holes left over were then filled with trash," said Cheng. 

Cheng said the excavation of sand even resulted in the collapse of a local portion of the Long Hai Railroad, which acted as an important transport link between east and west China, in 2004. 

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

The official said that accident made Xi'an's municipal government determined to tackle the area's environmental decay. Three strategies were later unveiled – 1) designating a specific administrative committee to rebuild the area, 2) organically restoring the area’s ecological system based on the natural flow of its rivers, and 3) building water dams to better manage local water resources throughout the year. Additionally, CBED has also referenced experience in fighting pollution from its international partners. 

Those efforts have eventually paid off and earned CBED a number of national recognitions for its ecological transformation. In recent years, the district has even hosted several major domestic and international events, including the 2007 F1 Powerboat World Championship China Xi'an Championship and the 2011 Xi'an World Horticultural Exposition. 

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

A file photo shows the result of environmental transformation in Chan-Ba Ecological District in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. [Photo: Chan-Ba Ecological District]

Economically, CBED is supported by three pillar industries – finance, conference and exhibitions and ecological tourism, hosting a total of 150 investment projects. These projects include those by Metro AG, AVIV and the Bank of China and total 150 billion yuan in value. CBED also hosts the Xi'an Consulate Area and the Euro Asia Economic Forum Comprehensive Park. 

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