The Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan, southwest China's Sichuan Province, is the third tourism destination in China to be granted the Green Globe 21 certificate.
Located in Canberra, Australia, Green Globe sets the global benchmark for certification of environmentally friendly tourism sites. Certification is based on Agenda 21 - principles for sustainable development endorsed by 182 countries and regions from around the globe during the United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.
The other two Chinese tourism destinations, which have received the Green Globe 21 certificate, are also in Sichuan, said Richard Hooper, managing director of Green Globe.
They are Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, two sites on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, he said. The sites are located in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan. Jiuzhaigou features transparent alpine lakes and Tibetan culture while Huanglong is famous for its large expanse of karst formations and colored ponds.
In a bid to achieve sustainable travel and tourism, the Sanxingdui Museum started applying for the Green Globe 21 certificate last December.
Since then, it has invested a hefty sum of money to mitigate greenhouse effects and handle debris, witnessing great improvement in its environment, said deputy curator Zhang Yaohui.
About 40 kilometers from Chengdu, the Sanxingdui Museum, located in Guanghan, a small city in the fertile Chengdu Plain, houses almost all the relics from the Sanxingdui Ruins.
The excavation of the Sanxingdui Ruins, which was hailed as one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in China last century, is believed to have changed Chinese history.
Before the excavation of Sanxingdui, it was believed that Sichuan had a history of about 3,000 years. Thanks to the excavation, it is now generally believed that civilized culture appeared in Sichuan 5,000 years ago and has continued uninterrupted until today, said Chen Xiandan, deputy curator of Sichuan Provincial Museum.
(China Daily December 15, 2003)