Hechi ecological protection measures yield positive results
The endangered Chinese mergansers were spotted on the lake in Tian'e county of Hechi in 2017. [Photo by Wei Hanguo/gx.people.cn]
Ecological protection efforts in Hechi, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region gained praise when 30 endangered Chinese mergansers were spotted in Tian'e county last year.
The waterfowls, with fewer than 3,000 pairs left, are as rare as giant pandas and South China tigers. They require an aquatic environment and generally choose to live near clean bodies of water and nature reserves.
Tian'e county has always prioritized ecological protection by implementing strict rules ensuring its preservation, shutting down factories with high amounts of pollution, and maintaining an environmental impact assessment system.
The waterfowl sighting has all but confirmed the success of Hechi's protection efforts.
Hechi began desertification treatment in 2017, with 15,000 hectares of rocky desert areas having now been brought under control.
The city also managed to increase tree cover to 68.83 percent by planting trees over an area of 21,333 hectares.
The Hechi municipal government released a five-year plan for environmental protection and ecological reconstruction in May 2017. According to the plan, the city will make efforts to preserve the natural ecosystem and keystone species, combat soil erosion and desertification, and establish a stable, sustainable ecosystem.
Ever since the measures were put into effect, residents have found that clean air and blue skies seem to be more prevalent than ever. The city recorded 335 days of excellent air quality in downtown Hechi with the remaining 10 counties and districts regularly meeting the second best national air quality standard.
Investments totaling 400 million yuan have been put into 77 projects safeguarding the environment near reservoirs and another 55.14 million yuan has been devoted to eliminating hidden geological hazards in 65 areas.
Fighting water pollution is also a major concern of the Hechi government. A system has been set up which requires officials of all levels to manage water resources in a responsible way. The system has helped all of Hechi's 32 major water function areas meet water quality standards.
Source from China Daily