Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture

Chongming Island Ecological Conservation Project

Raanan Katzir
Director, "SACOG, " Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group"
4 Efter St. Tel Aviv, 69362, ISRAEL
Tel: (-972-3)-6991381.
Cellular: (-972-528)-727-976
Fax: (-972-3-) 6990152.

Following a one day visit with Shanghai Academy Agricultural Science (SAAS)

Chongming Island is under the framework of Shanghai administration. It is an alluvial Island in the mouth of the Yangtze River. The area is 1041 KM2 and the population is about 700,000 inhabitance. An expected tunnel will combine the Island to the main land In the future. The local population will increase and the island is becoming very attractive to tourists. The island could be regarded as a Peri Urban system of Shanghai neighborhood. All these turn Chongming Island into an Ecological Conservation Project directed by Shanghai Academy Agricultural Science (SAAS) organization.

Following are few ideas that can reduce the hazard of soil, water, air contamination and other environmental disturbances. Also activities proposed to change the island agricultural features, ecological education campaign and eco-agro tourism projects

1. Ecological conservation activities.

Recycling city garbage to compost.
City garbage derives from homes contains a very high percentage of organic material that can be turned after fermentation procedure into valuable compost, which could be used as organic fertilizers. The garbage if not treated can become a resource of soil, water and air pollutant.

Recycling sewage water
Origin sewage water from people homes has about 400 BOD (Biological Oxygen demand). This water could be intensively recycled through oxygenized ponds into water with lower BOD as 30-40.Such water could be used as irrigation water for agriculture and public gardens. This water could be also be used for the ecological rehabilitation of rivers, lakes and cultivation fish in ponds.

Recycling oils
Oils residues could be a serious nuisance for nature. It is important to prevent organic and synthetic oils from reaching the site of sewage water recycling plants. Organic oils collected from restaurants to be used as a component of the biodiesel production. Synthetic oils could be also collected from garages and later treated through biological means as bacteria and micro planktons to be decomposed.

Plant residues
Various plant residues from agriculture, gardens and industry could be used as components in the above mentioned compost production.

Animal husbandry urine and manure
Animal husbandry waste is a high risk to the environment. Animal urine could be collected and use as organic fertilizers in organic agriculture. Animal urine and manure could be used for compost preparation and bio gas production as methane gas to be used at home as an energy resource. The sludge remains after mixing with straw and peat could be used as a media to mushroom production.

Chicken manure to feed cattle and fish
Chicken manure accumulate in big amount is an ecological disturbance. Chicken manure treated through pasteurizing and cleaning by magnet to get out metals residues could be used to feed cattle and fish.

Planting mangroves to protect shores and rivers banks
Sea shores and river banks could be very vulnerable to erosion and other destructions occur. Planting mangroves trees on the water edges of sea, lakes and river banks protect and avoid destruction. Mangroves are also favoring the reproduction of fishery. In case of tsunami storm, mangroves trees serve as a protection wall.

Harvesting of rain water from urban areas and rural drainage system.
Rain water could be collected through the urban city drainage system and could be added to the ponds where the sewage water is being recycled. This will improve the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD). Also drained water from agricultural fields could be added to the same system.

Ecological ponds of fish production
The Integrated Aquaculture Farming (IAF), aloud to maintain fish ponds under reduces pollution to become more ecological. The principles is stocking the ponds with various fish specious that live in the different pond's levels (up, medium and bottom), and mutually consume the excretion of the neighbor specious. As mentioned it is possible to feed the fish in the pond with chicken manure.

2. Changing the agricultural features.

Introducing changes in the local agricultural features could reduce the ecological disturbances and improve environmental conditions.

The following changes are recommended:

3. Ecological education to farmers. City dwellers and youth.

An educational campaign should be programming and launch to increase the conscience of farmers, city dwellers and youth to the environmental issues. Such campaign will also increase the engagement of all society forms to improve the ecological level of Chongming Island

4. Eco and agro tourism projects

Agro and eco tourism can become a major income to the island. The following activities should be encouraged:

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July 20, 2007

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture