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Chongqing Strives to Develop Guangyang Bay Smart Innovation Eco-city

By RAN ZHENG|May 30,2022

Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.

The nocturnal images of the small Indian civet, a protected wild animal species at the same level as the much-adored panda, were captured by cameras at Yinglong Lake National Wetland Park in Guangyang Bay Smart Innovation Eco-city, Chongqing.

At the Stockholm +50 meeting, Chongqing Guangyang Isle Green Development Co., Ltd. was the only representative of ecological restoration practice cases to share its expertise and initiative, which was highly praised by experts and scholars from all over the world. The two reports showed Guangyang Bay Smart Innovation Eco-city's achievements.

The Yinglong Yard of Guangyang Bay Smart Innovation Eco-city, integrating sightseeing, exhibition, reception, and green development, serves as a prototype for ecological progress.

The Yinglong Yard of Guangyang Bay Smart Innovation Eco-city, integrating sightseeing, exhibition, reception, and green development, serves as a prototype for ecological progress. (iChongqing file photo)

The above-mentioned two pieces of news are about the Guangyang Isle on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The ecological restoration of Guangyang Isle is a typical example. How has it made such achievements?

Exploring the path to transformation

As a plan to develop 3 million square meters of real estate was rolled out before 2017, more than 10,000 indigenous people were relocated from this island to protect the ecological environment.

Since August of the same year, the Chongqing government has positioned Guangyang Isle as the Scenic Focus of the Yangtze River and Chongqing Ecological Island and designated 168 square kilometers of the Guangyang Isle area to demonstrate the green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. Chongqing Guangyang Isle Green Development Co., Ltd is responsible for operation management.

Since then, Chongqing has actively explored and practiced nature-based solutions, conservation, and restoration through natural, ecological and flexible methods.

The operator facilitates the market-based integration of agriculture, culture, tourism, healthcare, intelligence, and education in the isle, thus fostering the urban ecological agriculture with experiment, demonstration, sightseeing, and intelligent features in a mountainous area. In addition, it has launched the event of Chongqing International Marathon + Guangyang Isle, the Primitive Village Festival, the Pink Mid-Autumn Festival, and premium ecological study tours, attracting 300,000 tourists.

Guangyang Isle has become a benchmark for prioritizing ecological conservation and pursuing green development and an epitome of strengthening an essential ecological shield in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. 

Piloting the EOD model

In pursuing low-carbon development, Guangyang Bay Smart Innovation Eco-city has explored a new path by piloting the model of EOD. 

The model mainly adopts extending the industrial chain, joint operation, and promoting poorly profitable ecological projects integrated with related industries with better returns.

With the help of a market-oriented operation, the company has rapidly expanded its asset scale and received excellent credit support from several banks, including 26 billion yuan (about 3.9 billion US dollars) from China Development Bank.

While issuing special government bonds, the Eco-city has set up Guangyang Bay Green Industry Development Fund of 3 billion yuan and three funds. With a cumulative amount of nearly 10 billion yuan, it is expected to leverage an industrial investment of more than 40 billion yuan.

At the same time, many functional facilities were built inside and outside the isle, including Guangyang Isle International Conference Center, the Yangtze River Academy, and the Executive Leadership Academy for Yangtze River Ecological Civilization completed put into operation. The scientific and technological innovation projects, such as the Yangtze River Simulator and Guangyang Isle Field Observation Station, are proceeding orderly. 

"The good ecological foundation has created conditions for us to build a green, low-carbon, and circular industry system," said an official from Nan'an District and Chongqing Economic and Technological Development Zone. They are beefing up the green technology innovation center, the green engineering research center, and Western Green Exchange and further speed up the construction of the Vivo R&D Center, China Mobile IoT, and JD Global Supercomputing Center, to foster the green development pattern.

Together with universities and other central enterprises, the local government established Chongqing Carbon Capture and Utilization Technology Innovation Center and launched the Carbon Credit Platform, the first one for ecological value realization in China.

A wide array of market entities in the green industry are moving towards the Eco-city. Recently, agreements have been signed on 41 critical projects with a combined contract value of 56.3 billion yuan, such as Delta Electronics Western Production Base, SHUWEN Southwest Laboratory of Medical Commercialization Center and Medical Testing Center, Energy China Southwestern Region (Chongqing) Headquarters, and Beijing ByteDance Xingfuli Western Operation Center.


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