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This Panda Bear Is Actually a Solar Farm and It’s Saving China

Categories: Asia, Energy, Recommended Reading
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Credit: Shutterstock

 

The adorable creature is the new face of the solar energy initiative.

 

As the country’s national animal, pandas are everywhere in China. They appear on fuzzy slippers, crackers, and coins.
And now, the beloved bear will make an appearance in a new field, quite literally: solar energy farms.

The Chinese energy company Panda Green Energy Group is building 100 panda-shaped solar energy farms across the country.

From above, the assortment of panels will look like a cartoon panda smiling up at the sky.

 

Read the full article here. 

 

By Tess Sohngen from Global Citizen.

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Credit: World Economic Forum.

Many urban centers, like Shanghai and Shenzhen, have gone from modest fishing villages to booming megacities.

 

China is rapidly urbanizing. More than half of China’s population now lives in cities, and over 100 Chinese cities have over 1 million people each.

Many urban centers, like Shanghai and Shenzhen, have gone from modest fishing villages to booming megacities. Others have become mega-ghost cities — high-tech (often luxury) urban centers that fail to attract many residents.

Here’s a look at some of China’s largest real estate developments that will change its cities even more.

 

By Leanne Garfield from World Economic Forum

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‘Forest cities’: the radical plan to save China from air pollution

Categories: Asia, Infrastructure, Planet, Recommended Reading, Southeast
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Stefano Boeri, the architect famous for his plant-covered skyscrapers, has designs to create entire new green settlements in a nation plagued by dirty air

An artist’s impression of Liuzhou’s plans for a ‘Forest City’

An artist’s impression of Liuzhou’s plans for a ‘Forest City’

When Stefano Boeri imagines the future of urban China he sees green, and lots of it. Office blocks, homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust.

Last week, the Italian architect, famed for his tree-clad Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) skyscraper complex in Milan, unveiled plans for a similar project in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing. By Tom Phillips, The Guardian. Find the original article here.

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Air China bans shark fin cargo, reflecting dramatic shift in attitudes

Categories: Asia, Private Sector, Recommended Reading, Sea, Wildlife
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shark-fins

Air China has become the first airline in mainland China to ban shark fin cargo, marking a dramatic shift in attitudes toward trade in endangered wildlife here and throwing a lifeline to shark populations threatened with imminent extinction.

The news, released late Friday, came just a week after China announced plans to ban its domestic ivory trade, a landmark decision of vital importance in ending an epidemic of elephant poaching in Africa.

It marks the country’s gradual transformation from being the biggest source of the problem — as the largest market in illegal wildlife products — to becoming a major part of the solution. By Simon Denyer. Read more.

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World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971, known as the Ramsar Convention.

World Wetlands Day Besides providing essential services such as water, food and energy, wetlands offer significant opportunities for tourism, which can in turn deliver economic benefits for local communities and the sustainable management of wetlands.

Revival of wetlands, as in the case of Ein Afek Nature Reserve in Israel, is important for not only nature conservation but also eco-tourism, wetland education, and ecological research. Wetlands offer a range of recreational activities include sunbathing, swimming, boating, diving, snorkeling, photography, bird-watching, and simply enjoying the landscape. If not properly managed, however, tourism can also harm wetland, as in the unfortunate case of China’s Qinghai Province where Qinghai Lake became a huge rubbish dump.

The strong connection between wetlands and tourism brought the World Wetlands Day theme for 2012 to be “Wetlands and Tourism.” Ensuring well-managed tourism practices in and around wetlands and educating tourists on the value of wetlands contributes to the health of the world’s wetlands, and the long-term benefits that wetlands provide to people, wildlife, economics, and biodiversity.

Learn more how about how to successfully use wetlands for tourism through the UNWTO’s Destination Wetlands: Supporting Sustainable Tourism; Wetlands International’s publication Factsheet Wetlands and Poverty Reduction Project or the Use of Wetlands for Sustainable Tourism Management in the Boondall Wetlands Reserve, Australia.

As the tourist industry is looking for new attractions, and with tourists’ growing awareness of environmental issues of tourists, new kind of attractions are popping up: landfills and cleantech facilities.

Hiriya -Turning Landfills and Cleantech Facilities into a Tourist AttractionA few places around the world have transformed former landfills into nature parks. The Hiriya Center for Environmental Education in Israel, for example, attracts domestic and international tourists as well as professional visitors. Another example is the former landfill in Hangzhou, China, where tourists can visit its trash-to-gas power plant, play environmental video games, and hike in an eco-park the size of 10 football fields.

Cleantech facilities also serve as a tourist attraction that educate and offer experiential activities. The Solar Garden in Binyamina, Israel, is one such an educational initiative designed to promote awareness and use of green energy sources and environmental technologies (CleanTech) amongst the Israeli public. It was intentionally built in a place easily accessible with public transportation.

Another example is the Singapore National Water Agency’s NEWater Visitor Centre that promises a fun-filled and enriching time for all its guests with its free daily tours and educational workshops. There, one can learn of the water treatment and water planning of technological Singapore.

One particularly innovative attraction is the Pool+ project in Manhattan, which will be a floating pool in the Hudson River that would filter the river’s water through the pool walls, making it possible for New Yorkers and visitors to swim in clean river water, with pool fees helping to clean the river. This unique pool is thus a water filtration plant and a visitor attraction.

So what can you do? In addition to visiting and spreading the word about such attractions, if you have cleantech facilities in your hotel/lodge, share this information with the guests and make it an educational experience for them.

Remember to share it with us, too!

Seeking Experiential Travel in China: Interview with Mei Zhang, founder of Wild China

Categories: Asia, East, Management, Operations, Private Sector, Recommended Reading, Southeast, Tour Operator
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Mei ZhangAre Travelers Ready for the ‘Real’ China? Mei Zhang, founder of Wild China, explains why she’s counting on a sense of discovery to take travelers beyond the Great Wall and create tourism opportunities in China, Tibet and Myanmar.

 

When We Talk About Sustainability, What Else We Can Talk About?

Categories: Blog Posts
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by Echo Yu, Graduate Student, School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

 

Echo Yu, Graduate Student School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Echo Yu, Graduate Student School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Stemming from ecotourism, sustainable tourism has been discussed for several decades in western countries. A variety of both empirical and conceptual studies related to this area can be found easily. However, for the Chinese tourism industry and its travelers, sustainability remains a new term and concept despite being a hot topic in recent years.

In comparison to a relatively long history of tourism development in western countries, China’s tourism industry only started booming in the recent one and a half decades. It is also true that environmental issues and social responsibility are typically the last issues being discussed; however, is it possible to inject sustainability at this early but rapidly-developing stage of Chinese tourism industry?

When we talk about sustainability, what else can we talk about?

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To help policy makers and business leaders identify and prioritize additional opportunities to raise energy efficiency in China and make its growth more sustainable, McKinsey & Company undertook a study of technologies, measuring their impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Published in the McKinsley Quarterly, this report outlines their research and findings.

by McKinsey & Company

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The McKinsey Report: China’s Green Opportunity

 

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This Update paper re-examines likely trends in global emissions in the absence of effective mitigation and in the absence of major feedbacks from climate change to economic growth. It analyses changes in the variables affecting emissions growth (namely population, economic output, energy demand, and the economic and technological factors affecting the choice among sources of energy) in major countries and regions. It also explores the implications of the Great Crash of 2008, which lowered the long-term growth trajectory of developed countries, but did not slow the immense growth momentum of the largest developing countries, nor end the higher growth of the early twenty first century in other developing countries.

by Professor Ross Garnaut

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GARNAUT-CLIMATE-CHANGE-UPDATE-PAPER-3-Global-emissions-trends-1

 

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