Ecological preservation improves lives in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province

By Zhu Yingqi (People's Daily App) 13:13, August 04, 2022

"The air here tastes sweet," said tourist Yang Yingqi with a big smile on her face when she arrived at the Niubeiliang National Nature Reserve on Wednesday.

The reserve, located in Shangluo, is a model of ecological preservation in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

A tourist takes a photo at the Niubeiliang National Nature Reserve on Wednesday in Shangluo, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. (Photo: Wu Kai/People's Daily)

The reserve's relatively undisturbed natural forests offer four times the number of negative oxygen ions compared to the capital of Shaanxi Province Xi'an, and the reserve has the highest biodiversity in the mid-Qinling Mountains, a natural boundary between China's north and south.

In order to protect the environment, the local government established a management system with clear responsibilities on different levels. "Every forest, every tree, and even every stone has its own person in charge," said Wang Fengpeng, deputy director of the reserve's management committee.

In recent years, efforts to protect the environment have made great progress in Shaanxi Province. The Hechuan Wetland, the largest lake wetland along the Yellow River, represents another example.

Situated in Heyang county, Weinan, the Hechuan Wetland covers an area of 165 square kilometers. Since 2019, a series of regulations have been rolled out to improve the wetland's ecological environment, including farmland relinquishment, limitations on the expansion of fish and lotus ponds, and return of land to its original condition of reeds and wetlands.

Greater efforts have led to a prominent restoration of wetlands, providing an ideal habitat for birds and waterfowl. The number of species of birds in Hechuan has increased from 148 to 170, said Qiao Tianmin, director of the Yellow River Wetland Conservation Center in Heyang county. "The black stork, which had not been seen for many years, has also returned."

A bird flies over reed marshes on Tuesday at the Hechuan Wetland in Weinan, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province. (Photo: Peng Yipeng/Weinan Daily)

Ecological preservation has not only improved the natural environment and biological diversity, but also exerted a positive impact on the public's ecological awareness.

Residents have formed a consciousness of environmental protection, said Wang. "For instance, farmhouse owners will remind guests not to harm nature while climbing the mountain and not to throw garbage into the river."

"With the village environment getting better, I can feel myself getting younger due to the good mood and mental state the environment brings," said Fang Qixiang, a 64-year-old villager in Shangluo.

Photo taken on Tuesday shows an aerial view of wetlands along the Yellow River in Weinan, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province (Photo: Peng Yipeng/Weinan Daily)  

(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)


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