"Good air" brings profits to villagers

(Xinhua) 14:03, June 17, 2022

NANCHANG, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Gearing up in their uniforms and grabbing their binoculars, Huang Deshun and two other rangers travel up the mountain early in the morning to start their daily mountain patrol.

Huang, Party chief of Dushi Village in east China's Jiangxi Province, has developed a personal mission to protect the trees in the area as they provide a source of income for the village once troubled by poverty.

"We value the forests more than ever," said Huang, as he walked along a path amidst lush grass and trees. "The good air they create is an asset."

Huang lives in the Longfeng forest farm in Chongyi County, which covers around 2,267 hectares of forests. The county boasts a forest coverage rate of 88.3 percent and was identified as a forestry carbon sink pilot in the province last year.

Through the program, the carbon that the forests absorb and store from the atmosphere can be sold to individuals, institutions and enterprises looking to cut their carbon footprints. For Huang and the villagers, this means the "good air" becomes valuable.

After preliminary accounting, more than 2,533 hectares of forests in Chongyi were included in the pilot, said Huang Xuepeng, head of the county forestry administration, adding that they are expected to capture more than 300,000 tonnes of carbon in the next decade.

The trading price of the sequestered carbon is set at 50 yuan (around 7.5 U.S. dollars) per tonne, taking into consideration the current situation of the international carbon trading market and the actual cost for domestic enterprises in carbon reduction, said Wan Haitao, deputy general manager of Jiangxi Public Resources Trading Group.

In early June, a commercial bank in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi, managed to hold a "zero-carbon" meeting by purchasing carbon from the trading group to offset the emissions created by transportation, catering and accommodation during the meeting.

So far, 1.21 million transactions have been made on Jiangxi's voluntary carbon emission reduction market, with the carbon trading volume reaching nearly 50,000 tonnes, according to Liu Chao, chairman of Jiangxi Public Resources Trading Group.

The profits from the voluntary carbon purchases are expected to arrive in the hands of local villagers at the end of this year, according to the company.

After finishing his morning patrol, Huang sat down for a rest by the stream, with the lush forest in view.

"By protecting the lush mountains, we are also safeguarding our future," he said.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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