Forest ranger in north China’s Inner Mongolia musters renewed determination to protect local environment

(People's Daily Online) 14:21, March 08, 2022

Photo shows Zhou Yizhe, a forest ranger dedicated to the protection of the ecosystem in the Greater Khingan Range of north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (Photo courtesy of the interviewee)

One year on, a conversation with President Xi Jinping still reverberates in the mind of Zhou Yizhe, a deputy to the National People's Congress from north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

“Your identity shift from a logger to a forest ranger epitomizes our country’s transformation in industrial structures,” Xi, also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, told Zhou during deliberations with fellow deputies from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region during the annual national legislative session on March 5, 2021.

For more than 30 years, Zhou worked as a logger, cutting down trees with an ax and a saw at a tree farm in the Greater Khingan Range of Inner Mongolia. Several years ago, he become a forest ranger. Later, Zhou was elected a deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislative body.

“Roe deer and brown bears often come onto the tree farm and protection stations,” Zhou said during the deliberation, adding that the total value of the surrounding area’s ecosystem, including forests and wetlands in the Greater Khingan Range, exceeded 615.97 billion yuan (about $97.5 billion) in 2018, indicating that the ecosystem there has become a vital source of wealth.

Highlighting the concept of "green GDP", Xi said that maintaining a good environment is of enormous value.

Over the past year, Zhou has taken note of some significant changes in the Greater Khingan Range.

According to him, new firebreaks and roads within and approaching the forest area have been built, making travel and forest management easier. Meanwhile, mobile network coverage has been significantly expanded, which has provided a marked boost to local ecotourism.

Data shows that 121 4G base stations will be built in the forest area of the Greater Khingan Range. About half of the forest area is expected to be covered by telecom networks in June this year, up from just 10 percent.

This year, Zhou plans to submit a proposal on how to ensure that the green and high-quality development of the forest area of the Greater Khingan Range will contribute further towards the realization of China’s goal of carbon neutrality.

Encouraged by President Xi, Zhou has become even more determined to protect the ecological environment. “We will better protect the Greater Khingan Range to make the sky bluer and the water clearer,” Zhou said.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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