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West China: Significant growth and development (3)
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10:47, September 17, 2009

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The ecological environment
  
Wang Wenling lives in the village of Jinhua in Guangming Township, Pujiang County, Chengdu. In the past she made a living farming, with an annual income of 2,000 yuan. Since 2002, she has planted cherry trees on her plot of land and runs a small restaurant, easily making 100,000 yuan every year. She said that she eventually understood the importance of the ecological environment.

We face many ecological problems including a shortage of water, serious water loss and soil erosion, and grass-land deterioration. A fragile ecological environment has become one of the bottlenecks impeding the development of west China. In 1999, the central government adopted the Great Western Development Strategy, of which ecological environmental construction is the core content.

As one of the strategy-related measures to construct the ecological environment in West China, a pilot "grain for green" program was formally launched in Shaanxi, Sichuan and Gansu in 1999. By 2002, the "grain for green" program had been extended to 25 provinces covering the whole of west China.

Quqi County in Yan'an City, Shaanxi Province, is one of the regions which first proposed the implementation of the "grain for green" program. In the past, a green boundary around the county could be seen on satellite photos. Now, the green boundary has faded away because the mountains and rivers in this county have all turned green.

From underdevelopment to overdevelopment and protection, Chinese people now pay more respect to nature in developing West China. On May 1 2003, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region prohibited grazing on 34.80 million mu of natural grasslands. One year later, all mountains become green. Two years later, grass is thriving everywhere. At present, the arid zone in central Ningxia and the mountainous areas in Southern Ningxia have blossomed again. With the implementation of the "grain for green" program, more degenerated grasslands have become green again in west China.

During the Tenth Five-Year Plan period, more than 200 billion yuan from the central budget was invested in the improvement and protection of the ecological environment in west China, afforesting 600 million mu, comprehensively treating 540,000 square kilometers suffering serious water loss and soil erosion, afforesting 135 million mu of farmland, and protecting 290 million mu of grassland.

The ecological environment construction in west China has benefitted the area and even the whole country.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】




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