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How Does Chongqing Rank Top Ten of China's Forest Coverage ?

By VIVIAN YAN|Mar 15,2022

Chongqing- Chongqing now has 69.09 million mu (about 11.38 million acres) of woodland and 67.42 million mu of forest, with a forest coverage rate of 54.5%, ranking in the top ten in China for the first time.

Chongqing has explored new modes of afforestation and scientifically promoted the country's greening project, where barren mountains were covered in green with these efforts.

What are the city's land greening highlights as reflected in these figures? What new trends have emerged?

Ecological barrier in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

The ecological barrier in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. (iChongqing file photo)

Forming a green belt

A newly planted forest comes into view while climbing along the winding cliffside footpath at Yufeng Mountain.

"This was formerly a Masson pine forest," said Zhu Jiagao, head of the Yufeng Mountain base. "It was heavily infested with pest diseases, especially vulnerable to pine wilt disease."

About seven or eight years ago, the pine wilt epidemic had a huge impact on the forest. This disease is a famous "cancer" of pine forests, with strong transmission and high mortality.

To curb the spread of the disease, the local forestry department organized workers to cut down the diseased or dead wood and then burn it. Due to the trees being felled in the management, the crown density was reduced, and a large forest gap was formed in some canopy layers, which has become an open woodland.

"Over the years, we have continuously introduced local broad-leaved tree species such as nanmu, Cinnamomum camphora, and red maple to transform the original single coniferous tree species into mixed coniferous and broad-leaved trees," said Zhu.

He also mentioned that the originally bald forest has gradually germinated and formed an urban green belt through replanting and reconstruction.

In addition to Yufeng Mountain, the "four mountains" area of Chongqing, including Jinyun Mountain, Zhongliang mountain, Tongluo mountain, and Mingyue Mountain, has cultivated a total of 320,000 mu of forests, gradually building up a healthy forest ecosystem.

The Yangtze River (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Planting trees online

"In recent years, we have been focusing on the new trend of planting trees online, enriching the methods of tree planting, and allowing more people to participate in voluntary tree planting," said a person in charge of the Chongqing Municipal Greening Commission.

Planting trees online is an important mechanism of innovation and practical exploration in organizing nationwide voluntary tree-planting campaigns, which helps ordinary people fulfill their duty in the new era. It is also a way of public participation in environmental protection that is worth trying and promoting.

In 2019, the State Nursery in Tongliang District of Chongqing was listed as one of the first national "Internet plus public, voluntary tree planting " bases.

Since then, Chongqing has encouraged all districts and counties to build their own online tree planting platform, hoping to increase the rate of citizens' compulsory tree planting through online management and adoption, donations and construction, etc.

In early spring, the State Nursery in Tongliang district is full of vitality, and workers were busy watering and fertilizing the seedlings.

At present, it has planted more than 170,000 seedlings of Cinnamomum camphora, osmanthus, and ficus virens. It has opened up many forms of compulsory tree planting, such as afforestation, nurturing and management, planting and adoption, donations, and volunteering.

"We plan to organize an online tree planting event at the end of this month, where the public can plant a loving tree without being present," said Hu Jianghua, head of the State Nursery.

In addition, the public can also donate their money and tree species to the base to strengthen greening and maintenance.

Jiangbeizui CBD in Chongqing, located by the Yangtze River. (iChongqing file photo)

(Shi Jiaqi, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)


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