iChongqing Title

Guangyang Isle Shines in UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

By XINYI LI|Mar 20,2024

Chongqing - Within the ambit of the "UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration," spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Guangyang Isle's ecological restoration initiative in Chongqing has been distinguished as a premier exemplar. It became the first Chinese landscape engineering project promoted by the Ministry of Natural Resources to the United Nations.

The reefs distributed in a row at the head of the Guangyang's West Island surfaced from the water. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Over recent years, Guangyang Isle's restoration project has concerted efforts to explore nature-centric recovery strategies, deploying a sextet of pivotal tactics: safeguarding mountains, orchestrating water management, nurturing forests, enhancing agricultural fields, purifying lakes, and bolstering grasslands. This approach prioritizes organic, ecological, and adaptable methodologies, fostering a holistic revival of the natural environment, augmenting biodiversity, and amalgamating premium ecological infrastructure with sustainable architecture.

On Guangyang Isle, the golden expanse of rapeseed flowers creates a mesmerizing sea of color, drawing in both locals and tourists alike to bask in the beauty of this captivating floral spectacle. (Photo/New Chongqing in the Lens - Cui Jingyin)

The isle's biodiversity is in a state of robust expansion, with forest cover surpassing the 90% threshold. Ecosystems pivotal for conservation, regeneration, and productivity, encompassing fisheries, avian sanctuaries, and grazing lands, are under protection and enhancement. The floral and faunal variety has notably increased, with plant species count escalating from 383 to 627 and animal species from 310 to 460, including six Class I and thirty-two Class II protected animal species.

A common sandpiper is foraging in the Guangyang Isle. (Photo/Gao Shaoxiong)

Additionally, the ecological environment of Guangyang Isle is subject to ongoing enhancement, yielding diversified agricultural landscapes in flat terrains and mountainous regions alongside picturesque aquatic settings such as Huangge Creek, Luzhu Creek, and Daisheng Lake, encompassing nine lakes and 18 creeks in total. The island's rejuvenated mixed forests, comprising white fig forests, an array of flowering trees and shrubs, and arboreal species adorned with vibrant foliage, have successfully resurrected the verdant, avian, serenade-rich woodland vistas of yore.

The isle's shorelines and adjacent riparian zones undergo systematic reinforcement through a triad of soil and vegetation stabilization and biodiversity enhancement. This comprehensive strategy addresses the riparian zone below 190 meters elevation around the Three Gorges Reservoir, covering around 414 hectares. It employs a tri-dimensional restoration model focusing on vertical, horizontal, and temporal dimensions to rejuvenate 20 plant species and ten typical plant communities, thereby reinstating a habitat conducive to various aquatic and terrestrial life forms. The revitalized 11-kilometer trail encircling the isle, celebrated for its panoramic views, exemplifies an integrated approach to ecological restoration, harmonizing the elements of mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes, and grasslands, and is revered as the "most beautiful ecological trail" by the local populace.


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