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How to Restore 120,000 hectares of Rocky Desertification Areas in 4 Years?

By VIVIAN YANICHONGQING|Jul 13,2021

Rocky desertification has been called “the earth’s cancer.” After more than four years of reforestation, the stony mountains in Wuxi County of Chongqing have sprung to life.

After more than four years of reforestation, the stony mountains in Wuxi County of Chongqing have sprung to life. (iChongqing file photo)

In 2017, the area of rocky desertification in Wuxi surpassed 120,000 hectares, accounting for a quarter of the county’s land area. Moreover, most of the area was on steep cliffs.

To address the problem, the people of Ningchang Ancient Town scaled the precipices to transport cement, mortar, soil, and saplings up to the mountains. Over 50 persons planted more than 60,000 saplings on the barren mountains, covering about more than 66.7 hectares.

In shorter than five years, the forest coverage rate in the county increased to 69.7% in 2020 from 65.6% in 2017. Owing to the unswerving efforts of the generation of Lin Yunxi, tree planters are no longer needed on the cliffs of Wuxi now.

“It’s a very tough task. If a sapling doesn’t grow, that piece will remain bald. Our hard work will be in vain,” said Lin.

Lin continued that the narrowest part of the paths to the mountains is no bigger than the palm of your hand. On such perilous cliffs of the waste mountains with about 66.7 hectares, they miraculously built more than 60,000 homes for saplings.

“I have a love for the work. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have participated in painstaking tree planting as a worker at the forest farm,” added Lin. “I believe tree planting from forefathers benefits future generations.”

The 4.1% increase of the forest coverage rate must be attributed to every tree planter who arduously carried the soil and saplings along the beetling cliffs up to the mountains.

Due to the achievements in restoring the rocky desertification areas, a growing number of tourists have been attracted to Ningchang Ancient Town, where the workers like Lin from Guan Mountain Forest Farm planted trees.

The struggle to plant trees on cliffs is a reminder of how hard it is to pay off a debt to nature. Hopefully, the continuing efforts in ecological conservation will deliver more achievements in Wuxi in the future.

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