Why Do We Want to Establish “Conservation Area on Campus”? CBCGDF Research Team Talks about Its Value and Significance | "Ecological Civilization and Green Campus" Symposium
2019/2/10 15:06:00 本站

On January 25, 2019, a consultative roundtable symposium on the theme of “Ecological Civilization and Green School” was successfully held in Beijing’s. The event was co-hosted by CBCGDF and the TERRE Policy Centre. The guests included Dr. Bhanu Neupane, a Programme specialist from UNESCO, the heads/officials from colleges/universities in China, and representatives and volunteers from all walks of life, who are committed to promoting sustainable development on the campus.


At the meeting, CBCGDF Research Team interpreted the “Conservation Area on Campus”, shared the new ideas about protecting the urban ecosystem in colleges and universities under the background of ecological civilization, expounded the value and significance of establishing campus conservation area sites, and constructively proposed feasible method of operation. These points are now sorted out as follows to readers.


1.    What is “Conservation Area on Campus”?


When it comes to nature reserves, people usually think of them in areas that are generally located in deep forests, or in areas with vivid natural and ecological conditions. However, with the intensification of urbanization, more and more people are pouring into cities and settled in cities; the roads and buildings of cities are becoming denser and greener, and green spaces are becoming less and less. What follows is that the nature of the urban environment is becoming more and more worrying, and people are farther away from nature. Now people are beginning to realize that the most important nature reserves should be considered in densely populated areas. It is of great significance to be able to do a good job of protecting the city's ecosystem. And the campus is an excellent breakthrough for us to build a new era urban ecosystem.


“Conservation Area on Campus” refers to the principle of adapting, respecting and protecting nature in the process of landscaping, including the cessation of the use of exotic turf rolls that are not suitable for the local climate and are not beneficial to the soil; the cessation of replacing flowers and trees constantly; no longer frequently applying pesticides and fertilizers, causing pollution to the environment; no longer frequently watering, wasting precious water resources, etc., to realize campus construction as a harmonious relationship between man and nature and sustainable development for the purpose of urban ecological civilization.


2.    Its values and significance.


The best years of our lives are spent on campus. Therefore, Chinese colleges/universities should pay attention to biodiversity, combine protection and education, for the next generations’ spending the best years on such campuses. Students will naturally benefit from it lifelong. The “Conservation Area on Campus” is the best place to cultivate the younger generation to be in harmony with nature and develop a green production lifestyle. Its significance is irreplaceable. At the same time, campus protected areas also play an important complementary role in China's future protection system, prompting people to think about how to improve energy efficiency on campuses. Through managing and controlling energy conservation, sanitation and health, waste classification, renewable energy, smart grids, air pollution and green building levels, etc., to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals is equally important.


3.    How should schools carry out the work of conservation areas?


Maintain a harmonious coexistence between man and nature. Some colleges and universities tend to remove the original vegetation on campus, replace it with a green lawn, and constantly water, weeding, and kill insects. Sometimes ponds are built, but the cement is underneath the pond, and various hardening measures block the circulation of water. This method and idea are contrary to nature. Conservation areas on campuses should conform to nature and integrate into nature. There are many feasible ways in this area, such as transplanting native plants and local endangered plants to the campus for protection.


(1) Pay attention to native plants. Take Beijing as an example. There are more than 1,400 wild plants in Beijing, but most of them are not seen, because a few species account for most of the urban greening vegetation. People's knowledge often comes from what they see with their own eyes. Therefore, our environment defines, to a considerable extent, our intuitive understanding and understanding of "what is nature." In fact, nature is more and more beautiful because of the natural mix of different kinds of species (biodiversity). The richer the species of animal and plant communities, the stronger the ability to resist risks and the more stable the ecosystem. Native plants have incomparable advantages in campus protection and are the result of long-term natural selection. The abundance of plant species naturally leads to insect diversity and other higher-grade animal species that will prosper and contribute to a benign cycle.


(2) Transplanting endangered plants to the campus for protection. According to reports, of the more than 1,000 species of plants native to Beijing, nearly 50 endangered plants are listed as national first-level protected plants. CBCGDF has done a survey of plant species in Beijing, and the speed at which plant species disappear is equally alarming. The ability to transplant native endangered plants to campus is also an important contribution to the conservation of biodiversity from the species level.


(3) Roof greening. Campuses like Peking University and Tsinghua University have limited land and can make full use of the roof. For example, the exterior wall of a building can be vertically greened and the roof greened. Open the space for campus greening, break through the limitations of university campus land occupation, and expand green to the air. This has positive significance in building cooling and heat insulation, energy saving and emission reduction, improving the microclimate around the school building, and alleviating the heat island effect in dense residential areas and reducing light pollution.


(4) Protect Wilderness. As advocated by Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, the Secretary-General of CBCGDF, a city should leave a certain area of wilderness without any artificial intervention, allowing plants to grow freely. In the wilderness there is the mystery of nature's most magical. In the era of ecological civilization, the residents of the city should maintain harmony with nature. At the same time, the wilderness is also important in the conservation of biodiversity in cities – it plays an active role in the regulation of ecosystems such as carbon fixation, climate regulation, and air purification. However, most of the public is still not fully aware of the important ecological significance of wilderness. A case worthy of reference in this regard is: CBCGDF has a base in Daxing District of Beijing that does not water and does not fertilize. Under the premise of non-intervention, the wild grass grows rapidly and vigorously, and the variety of birds and insects is full of vitality.


Nature is the best teacher. We hope that in the future, more than 2,000 colleges and universities in China will have their own beautiful conservation area sites, creating a learning and living environment for the next generation of China to live in harmony with nature.


Campus ecosystem (Photo source: Internet)

Original Chinese article:


By / Niu Jingmei