CBCGDF Requested to Stop Planting 10,000 Mu of Trees in Dongtan, Nanhui, Shanghai! Relevant Departments Need to Learn About Ecological Civilization and Biodiversity Conservation
2019/3/20 0:12:00 本站

[Editor’s note:] Shanghai Nanhui District is located in the most southeastern part of Pudong. Shanghai is located on the migratory route of the Siberian-Australasian of migratory birds. As the main road for migratory birds, there are millions of migratory birds passing through each year, many of which choose to stop and winter. Nanhui Dongtan is located in the southeast corner of Shanghai. On the south bank of the Yangtze River estuary, it is the coastal wetland of Lingang New City. The wetlands there are of vital ecological value to migratory birds.


Recently, local volunteers reported to China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) that the coastal wetlands in the Lingang area were heavily planted and afforested. Dongtan will plant 10,000 mu of forest land: 3,500 mu has been planted. However, because the local area is saline-alkali land, most of the trees planted are cedar trees. After the tree species of the woodland have been transformed into a single tree species, it is difficult for birds to inhabit and live in the woods. And even if these trees are planted, the survival rate may not be too high. After all, here is the saline-alkali land.


It is reported that planting trees is mainly to complete the construction indicators of forest land, and the forest coverage rate of Lingang New City should reach 15%. However, the port area should be based on wetland ecology. Why do we have to instruct so many trees? Not all places are suitable or must be planted.


Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets; the Report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China clearly states that the protection and restoration of wetlands should be strengthened. However, at present, Shanghai has not issued regulations on wetland protection. In Lingang New City, the forest coverage rate during the 13th Five-Year Plan should reach 15% and have to complete the planning of 6500 mu of tree planting this year and next year.


CBCGDF appeals: Ecological construction should not be replaced by planting trees. It is recommended that Shanghai re-evaluate the large-scale tree planting in Dongtan. It is necessary not only to reassess the planting of trees, but also to consider the construction of a new city in Lingang New City: to take into account the balance between development and ecological protection, and not to sacrifice valuable ecological resources just for economic development.



(Photo credit: CBCGDF)

Coastal Wetlands in Lingang Area Should not Replace Ecological Construction with Planting Trees


Recently, we have found large-scale tree planting in coastal areas of the port area. According to our understanding, during the 13th Five-Year Plan period of Lingang New Town, 10,000 mu of trees will be planted, more than 3,000 mu will be completed, and more than 6,000 mu of tree planting tasks will be completed in 2019 and 2020. In the case that the area suitable for planting trees in the port area is becoming saturated, the coastal wetland has become the main area for planting trees. In view of the ecological status of Lingang and the protection of ecological diversity in the port area, we strongly urge that the area of tree planting in the port area should not be too large and not suitable for planting in the coastal wetland area. The reasons are as follows:


1.    Planting trees will destroy the local ecosystem. The original ecosystem of the coastal wetland area of Lingang New City is mainly composed of reed land and ponds. Later, many agricultural lands have been developed. These ecosystems can support the ecological diversity of local aquatic organisms and birds to some extent. The tree species currently planted are dominated by metasequoia, with a single species and lack of ecological support for local organisms. At the same time, planting trees also crowded the area of other ecosystems.


2.    Its soil quality is not suitable for planting trees. The coastal wetlands in the Lingang area are all saline-alkali land. The survival rate of planting trees is low, and the trees grow slowly and are not easy to maintain. In order to allow trees to grow in saline soils, it is necessary to invest a lot of money, which is not worth the cost.


3.    Planting trees affects the wind tunnel. There are too many trees planted in the coastal area, affecting the air circulation from the sea to the land, which is unfavorable for the prevention and control of air pollution and the reduction of the heat island effect.


Ecological construction should be adapted to local conditions, and the port area should vigorously promote the ecological restoration of wetlands. The benefits are:


1.    Conducive to the ecological protection of the Yangtze River Basin. The Yangtze River is the mother river of the Chinese nation. It is necessary to "work together for great protection and not for big development." The Lingang area is the southern bank of the Yangtze River estuary and is an important part of the Yangtze River's ecological protection. Protecting the wetland ecological resources in the port area is of great significance for protecting the ecological diversity of the Yangtze River.


2.    Conducive to migratory bird protection. The Lingang area is located on the Siberian-Australasian migratory route. Each year hundreds of thousands of migratory birds inhabit and winter. The number of bird species is 407, accounting for 28% of the total number of Chinese bird species and 85% of the species in Shanghai. The richness of Nanhui Dongtan's ecological resources is also among the best in East China. The ecological restoration of Nanhui Dongtan is of great significance to the ecological protection of birds around the world.


3.    Conducive to the development of local ecological civilization and eco-tourism. Ecological protection and ecological restoration are the basis and prerequisite for the construction of ecological civilization. Doing a good job in ecological protection and vigorously developing ecological civilization construction will help improve the soft strength of the city. The Lingang area is an important node in the Yangtze River Delta region. Lingang rationally utilizes existing ecological resources and cooperates with Zhoushan and Putuoshan and some other areas to establish cross-regional tourism routes around the theme of marine ecology, culture and food. This will be a new opportunity for the development of ecotourism in the Lingang area.


Ecological construction should respect the laws of nature. The distribution of the ecological system of the mountains, lakes and grasslands is the result of long-term evolution. It should not replace an ecosystem with another ecological system rigidly. It is not an ecological construction but is destroying the ecology. Taking the coverage of forest land as a hard indicator for assessing ecological construction is even more opposite. When the mayor visited the construction of the ecological corridor last year, stressed: "The ecological corridor should adhere to the ecological function and protect the texture of the natural ecology. To promote the construction of the ecological corridor, it is necessary to adapt to local conditions. One place, one model, one place, one program." The ecological protection of the port area should be based on the ecological protection of wetlands, rather than planting trees!


Contrast photos of Nanhui Dongtan past and present:





Original Chinese article:


By / Niu Jingmei