Drought rings ecological protection alarm bells (2)

22:14, April 12, 2010      

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He said the thick forest, especially the water-trapping broad-leaved trees, plays a crucial role in keeping the water flowing as the severe drought strikes the region.

The reservoir supplies more than 50,000 in the nearby towns of Mazhan, Gudong, and Qushi with clean drinking water. It also supplies irrigation water for over 100,000 mu (6,667 hectares) of farmland.

According to figures provided by the local forestry bureau, the county has expanded its forest by 491,000 mu since 2000 while converting another 114,000 mu of farmland into forest.

"This is in line with Tengchong's development strategy which is based on good ecology," Fan said.

Top leader of the county, Secretary of the CPC Tengchong County Committee Yu Bingwu, said the government is encouraging local residents to grow the "Three Trees" - walnut, camellia, and ginkgo - for both environmental and economic benefits.

Tengchong hopes to have 2.1 million mu of forest growing these trees by 2012, which by 2020 will generate over half of the local farmers' per capita disposable income.

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