In Search of Sustainable Development
The Shanghai World Expo has been a popular international topic of discussion in recent months. Participants have come from major countries around the world, attracting visitors interested in learning about the best the world’s cities have to offer. During a recent trip to the Expo, Kaohsiung City Council members visited Xixi National Wetland Park - the first of its kind to be established in China. This is a considerable achievement and we were most definitely impressed by the importance being attached to such environmental-protection projects in China.
Xixi covers an area of 60 square kilometers and was considered to be “heaven on earth” by scholars and members of the literati thousands of years ago.
A decade ago the area was turned into a rural village where thousands of farmers raising pigs. In 2004, the Hangzhou government began to focus on conserving the wetlands and acted to “Make Xixi Wetlands a Life Lesson on How to Enhance Environmental and Ecological Conservation.
Since that time, Hangzhou government has spent NT$50 billion on ecological conservation projects, covering an area of 10.08 square kilometers. Only 5% of that area is open to the general public, with 95% reserved for bird and ecological conservation, with access restricted to bird-watchers and ecologists.
Following the relocation of the Kaohsiung CPC plant in 2015, we plan to seriously consider the possibility of converting the polluted refinery site into a large wetland, returning the land to its original state. We believe that combining the wetlands in Ban Ping Lake, Chou Chai and Yuan Jhong Harbor, will create a wetland cluster with the ability to breathe new green vitality into Kaohsiung City, a place that has suffered from serious industrial pollution for a very long time.
As people have become increasingly environmentally aware around the world, it should be the aim of the new Greater Kaohsiung government to create an international city that offers its citizens an enhanced quality of life, through urban planning based on new concepts and creative ideas, to be enjoyed by generations yet unborn.