China invests big in ecological progress
Updated: 2012-12-20 14:38
BEIJING - A viaduct built over a wetland in northeast China's Heilongjiang province to make way for wildlife has been described as a "green bridge" by local residents.
Built with an investment of 430 million yuan ($68.8 million), the 5-km overpass opened to traffic in late 2010 and spans the largest inner city wetland in China -- the Longfeng Wetland Nature Reserve, located near the city of Daqing, known as China's first oil production base.
In the 1960s, roads were built directly on the wetland so people could reach the oil fields faster, which, however, threatened the local ecosystem.
Since the bridge has been constructed, birds have returned and plants are growing again. A total of 76 species of birds are currently living within the wetland area, including five species under first-level national protection.
Authorities highlighted the need to promote ecological progress and gave it a more prominent position by incorporating it into the country's overall development plan last month when the governing Communist Party of China (CPC) convened a national congress.
The country has pledged to support the development of energy-efficient and low-carbon industries, new energy sources and renewable energy sources, which requires huge investment.
Jin Lei, a partner at international accounting firm KPMG, said the Chinese market has great investment potential for green industries, as the country has included such industries in its Development Plan for National Strategic Emerging Industries during the 12th Five-year Plan period (2011-2015).
With a total investment of 2.1 billion yuan, Longhua New Energy Vehicle Industrial Park, the largest new energy vehicle project in Heilongjiang province, was put into operation in July 2012 and has received a slew of orders from foreign companies so far.
According to a report issued by the Deutsche Bank Group in August, the annual production value output of China's electric vehicle industry could reach 159 billion yuan by 2020.
China has also vowed to launch major ecological restoration projects and prevent desertification, especially for the northwestern regions with fragile environments.