Sound ecology brings better life to people in Nanjing’s Gaochun district

(People's Daily Online) 17:45, August 10, 2022

Based on its advantages of sound ecology, Gaochun district in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, has been working to promote green development in recent years by putting into practice the philosophy “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets,” in order to create a better life for locals.

Photo shows Xishe village in Gaochun district, Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo courtesy of Jiangsu Rural Planning and Construction Research Association)

The sound ecological environment has become a “calling card” of Gaochun, which creates favorable conditions for people to pursue a better life.

Wei Qing, a native of Gaochun who used to work outside of his hometown for years, returned home and has been engaged in ecological agriculture for nine years by taking advantage of the sound ecology in his hometown. Taking the lead in establishing a professional farming cooperative, Wei has contracted 4,000 mu (about 266.7 hectares) of land to grow rice.

Wei lets part of the land he contracts lie fallow each year. Meanwhile, the cooperative hires a third-party institution to test the soil and water of its farmlands, as well as the air quality around the farmlands, before new rice hits the market. “The testing results will ensure that our rice can sell at a higher price,” Wei said.

Wei’s highest quality rice is now priced at more than 30 yuan (about $4.44) per kilogram. In 2021, the per capita annual income of all 12 members of the cooperative reached 170,000 yuan.

In recent years, Gaochun has vigorously developed eco-industries and promoted the green transformation of its industries through digital and intelligent transformation, according to Liu Wei, secretary of the Communist Party of China Gaochun district committee.

Gucheng Lake, in Gaochun, provides ideal natural conditions for the development of the crab-raising industry. The district encourages science-based and eco-friendly breeding, which also drives the integrated development of primary, secondary and tertiary industries, such as the planting of aquatic plants, deep processing of aquatic products, the retail sector, and tourism, introduced Huang Xiang, deputy director of the development and reform commission of Gaochun district.

Last year, Gaochun was home to 212,000 mu of aquaculture sites for crabs, with the total annual output of crabs exceeding 18 million kilograms. The district’s ratio of the per capita disposable income between urban and rural residents has narrowed to 1.9.

The district has also extended the industrial and value chains of ecological products, building two 10-billion-yuan-level industrial clusters.

In September 2020, Gaochun issued a system for measuring the gross ecosystem product (GEP), which consists of three first-level indicators, namely ecosystem products, ecosystem services and cultural services, as well as 18 second-level indicators, including agricultural products and soil conservation.

These indicators of the calculation system for GEP help further dig the output value of ecological products, said Yu Xiaoping, vice president of China Jiliang University.

The establishment of the calculation system for GEP provides solid data support for Gaochun’s sound ecosystem, said Zhu Xiaodong, a professor with the School of Environment of Nanjing University, who is in charge of the evaluation of Gaochun’s GEP.

Zhu introduced that Gaochun’s GEP surpassed 157.57 billion yuan in 2019, 3.4 times higher than the district’s GDP in the same year. Gaochun’s GEP exceeded 165.6 billion yuan in 2020, up 5.1 percent from the previous year. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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