Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > China Video

Sansha City gets creative for eco-friendly islands

Reporter: Han Bin 丨 CCTV.com

07-11-2016 10:24 BJT

Full coverage: The South China Sea Issue

China established Sansha city four years ago to strengthen its foothold in the South China Sea. The city is getting creative to make the islands greener. Our reporter went to one of the islands in the Xishas, known as the Paracels. He looked at the marine environment and the fishermen who relied on the coral reefs to make a living.

The prospect of Zhaoshu Island... seems greener than before. There are more buildings than when I first visited two years ago. We meet Chen Yihu's family again. They are living with other families in this community-like area.

"I'm so proud to be living on Zhaoshu, and satisfied with the improved living conditions here. We rely on it, and it's much more like a home than before," said Huang Lianhua wife of Chen Yihu.

Much has changed in two years. Zhaoshu now has electricity, 4G networks, and running water.... But the biggest change is in the way of thinking.

"We've been educated not to cut trees for cooking, not to kill young birds, and in June to stop fishing for 3 months. All these measures are meant to preserve the eco-system," said Chen Yihu, fisherman Zhaoshu Island, Sansha.

In 2013, one year after Sansha was established, we came to Zhaoshu. Chen Yihu and his son Chen Siyu went fishing every day. They had already seen the numbers of snails and fish in coastal waters decline. It was the same year that Sansha issued new regulations to ban illegal fishing and created restoration programs for the coral reefs. Huang Lianhua's greatest wish then was for the 'sea of gold' to continue to provide treasures for the life of fishermen. 

Today, she told us she does fish cultivation and tree planting. This is not only for additional income, but is also crucial for the benefit of future generations on the island. Zhaoshu is opening up to the outside world. How to keep its unique charm is a question for all.

"Climate change, destructive fishing and economic development have all taken their toll on the coral reefs in the South China Sea. Damage to the environment means the fishermen will lose the source of their livelihood, and the eventual disappearance of the islands themselves. So, the governance of the eco-system has been strengthened in hopes of securing a sustainable future," said Han Bin Zhaoshu Island, Sansha.

Sansha is coming up with creative ways for eco-protection. It has just launched online booking for adopting trees. This will be operated as a business. Through an app, anyone can sponsor a tree to help green the islands. The cost is 300 yuan, or about 50 US dollars, a year.

"The money we get from the trees will be used for their upkeep, and to buy and cultivate more trees in Sansha," said Chen Jiatao, deputy manager Sansha highlander ocean information technology.

"We hope Sansha will become more beautiful, and our son would be willing to come back to Zhaoshu Island," said Huang Lianhua wife of Chen Yihu.

"This is the tree I bought, one of my wishes for the eco-friendly island. I hope it can survive the stormy winds, and grow tall and strong. It gives me another connection here, and another reason to keep returning to Sansha," said Han Bin Zhaoshu Island, Sansha.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat