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August 14, 2010

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Four picks for island environmental tourism

CHONGMING Island is trying to develop an environmentally sustainable economy featuring low-carbon tourism and living.

By 2015, the local government plans to complete five low-carbon projects, including a rural community, agricultural zone, industrial park, eco-tourism zone and a center for scientific research on the environment.

Here are a few places to enjoy the eco-island.

Qianwei Village

A beautiful village in north central of Chongming, this is in the vanguard of modern ecological agriculture. It's more than beautiful cropland and greenhouses.

In the soil of greenhouses "intelligent" pipes with small holes constantly supply liquid nutrients for fruit, vegetables, flowers, plants and tree seedlings.

The aim is to develop agricultural production and other industries in a sustainable way.

Chenjia Town

The first stage of a low-carbon community is to be built in Chenjia Town before 2012, making it the first ecological community in Shanghai.

Chenjia Town is in the east of Chongming Island where the Yangtze River Tunnel Bridge connects the island with the mainland.

The four-square-kilometer Experimental Ecological Community in the downtown area will be constructed utilizing all types of modern technologies and sustainable energy sources, such as solar, wind and biomass.

"With all these technologies, our carbon footprint will be reduced by 30-50 percent and sustainable energy will represent 20 percent of the total," said Liang Jun, deputy general manager of Chenjia Town Construction Development Co Ltd.

Xinhai Town

Fruit-picking and fishing in Xinhai Town are popular.

At Ruihua Orchard, peaches and grapes are ready to be picked. The 100-hectare farm area provides an almost year-round harvesting experience that includes picking pears, gooseberries and other fruit and vegetables.

The atmosphere is charming as free-range chickens, geese and ducks walk about, not the least bit uncomfortable with strangers.

Fishing is special. Visitors can catch fish for their lunch or dinner prepared by local cooks. Seasonal specialty dishes are on offer.

National Forest Park

Dongping National Forest Park is not only beautiful but literally a blast of fresh air -- it's loaded with oxygen, especially those negatively charged ions that increase blood flow to the brain.

Experts say the number of negative ions in Chongming's air is around 1,000 per cubic centimeter but it's 100-200 million per cubic centimeter in the Dongping park. That compares with 10-20 in public places in downtown Shanghai and 100-200 in green areas.

Ecological tourism includes visits to Dongtan Wetland Park and Xisha Wetland, Shou'an Temple and stays with local farmers in Qianwei Village.


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