Across China: "New missions" of trees
CHONGQING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- In the remote mountains in southwest China's Chongqing municipality, rows of saplings planted by local villagers are undertaking a lot of "missions."
"There are more than 47 hectares of artificially cultivated and other forests in the village of Xiaoshuiba, which is part of the national reserve forests project," said Hong Jiaguo, deputy director of the forestry bureau of Chengkou County. Located deep in the Daba Mountains, the county has seen more than 70 percent of its areas covered by forest.
In April 2018, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration published the National Reserve Forests Construction Plan (2018-2035). By 2035, China plans to build 20 million hectares of national reserve forests to meet the self-sufficiency of general timbers.
Chongqing started the construction of about 333,000 hectares of national reserve forests in January last year, with a total investment of 19 billion yuan (about 2.7 billion U.S. dollars). Chengkou is the first experimental demonstration county of the project.
Meanwhile, the national reserve forests have also undertaken the mission of ecological restoration. "The planted saplings have painted many barren hills green with vegetation," Hong said.
The "missions" of the national reserve forests go far beyond that. They have also become money-spinners for farmers to increase their incomes.
Yang Youjiang and his wife, villagers in the county, have earned over 10,000 yuan since March, having participated in the cultivation of the national reserve forests and the construction of roads.
"In the past, the forestland was unattended and almost became wastelands. I never thought I could make money from it," Yang said.
The data show that 30,000 cubic meters of timber cut from the forests in the county can increase local farmers' income by 1.5 million yuan each year, and the cultivation, maintenance, and other projects related to the forests have created over 3,000 jobs.
"We will rely on the national reserve forest project to develop breeding and other industries, and build resorts to promote the development of tourism," said Kan Jilin, Party chief of the county. Enditem