Fancy living on an island? In the northeastern Liaoning province in China there are five hundred islands, many man made and unoccupied for rent from the Liaoning Finance and Natural Resources Department.
According to the Times there is a six tier scale depending on which island is wanted. The presence of ocean beaches, marine life and size of the island affect the pricing.
For 2.5 acres with no beach front is the lowest cost is five hundred and thirty five dollars. The price goes up for every additional 2.5 acres up to three million dollars for the largest island with beaches, rivers and wildlife.
It also depends on the use of the island. Agriculture, fishing, renewable energy, urban development and tourism are a few of the categories of use.
Primary use, light use, moderate use and heavy use factor into the equation as well as additional cost factors of seawater erosion, typhoons and higher tides.
“The values of islands are carefully calculated after field research, and ecological factors, such as rare species, fresh water, beaches and other resources also have to be taken into account in the overall plan.” according to Yu Xingguang, a member of China’s Third Institute of Oceanography on cnn.com. Any major improvements can also increase the annual rent.
Just having the money is only the first step to renting an island. The prospective tenants have a long and strict application to go through including the determination if land reclamation is needed which, if necessary, will usually put a stop to the deal; submission of reports to establish compliance with environmental regulation and detailed development and use plans.
Building costs on the islands is almost triple the cost of building on the mainland and anything substantial would belong to the Chinese government, not the resident, according to xinhuanet.com. Several of the islands have been used for entertainment purposes such as parks and fishing spots, major storage buildings and tourism.
China has been roundly criticized for land reclamation and dredging in order to build the islands which is harmful to marine wildlife, local ecosystems and coral reefs.
Because of that, land reclamation has been stopped for commercial use and in 2019 the Chinese government launched a project to restore the coral reefs. Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reefs have all had installations built to protect and restore the reefs on the three largest islands.
They are also working to identify reefs that can be restored naturally with only a little help from artificial methods, according to scmp.com.
In 2016 an international tribune claimed China had inflicted irreparable harm on the marine environment but authorities in Beijing discounted the ruling and claimed they were doing the work as a green project.
There are many other places where private islands can be rented but for a limited amount of time. A fifty acre island, Valle Falconera, in a lagoon near Venice, Italy rents out a pink farmhouse which will accommodate sixteen people can be rented for three hundred and nine dollars a night.
In Australia, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is looking for a caretaker to live on an isolated tropical island off the coast of Queensland. It is a paid position but it is not for the faint of heart.
Grounds work, maintenance for the structures, fielding tourists and the ability to live sustainably are required. In Japan, Rental Mountain YAMA offers a Scandinavian style rustic cabin with hot tubs, hammocks, swing ropes, a large open deck and open air grills in Nichinan City, Miyazaki Prefecture where one can rent the entire mountain for one day.
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Bird Island in Belize rents a self-catered island for fishing, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling and can house six people starting at one hundred and forty two dollars per person.