iChongqing Title

Resurgence of Life: The Remarkable Eco-Recovery of Jinyun Mountain


Chongqing - Mountains play a crucial role in regulating water flow, preventing soil erosion, and maintaining biodiversity, all of which are essential for the well-being of the Yangtze River Basin.

One key aspect of this relationship is the role of mountains in water conservation. Forested mountain areas act as natural water reservoirs, absorbing rainfall and releasing it gradually, which helps to regulate the flow of water into the Yangtze River. This natural regulation prevents sudden floods and maintains a stable water supply during dry periods, ensuring the river's health and the well-being of the communities that depend on it.

Additionally, the restoration of mountain ecosystems helps to prevent soil erosion, which is a major threat to the Yangtze River Basin. By reforesting and revegetating mountain slopes, China reduces the amount of sediment that washes into the river, thereby improving water quality and reducing the risk of sediment-related issues such as riverbed siltation and reduced aquatic habitats.

In China, a country rich in geomorphic resources, many cities are surrounded by mountains. However, only Chongqing's residents proudly refer to their hometown as the "Mountain City." Chongqing is the only major city in the world built in parallel valleys and ridges, where people's lives are closely intertwined with the history of the mountains. iChongqing's special foreign correspondent, Ahmed Radwan, visited a mountain range that originated 70 million years ago to hear stories of how people protect nature here.

Jinyun Mountain National Nature Reserve covers an area of 7,600 hectares and serves as a natural ecological barrier for Chongqing’s main urban area. The forest coverage rate here reaches 98.6%, with rich biodiversity. It features well-preserved typical subtropical evergreen broadleaf forests and a relatively stable ecosystem in the Yangtze River Basin. Many ancient, taxonomically isolated, and morphologically unique plants are preserved here, making it an excellent habitat for wildlife.

Before 2018, Jinyun Mountain faced environmental issues due to unregulated development and chaotic construction. The first step in restoring the ecological environment was to mobilize the relocation of residents living within the core and buffer zones of the nature reserve. This project not only safeguarded the livelihoods of the residents but also alleviated the ecological burden on the reserve.

In the past five years, Beibei District has adhered to the principle of "subtraction on the mountains and addition at the foot of the mountains." A total of 620,000 square meters of various buildings and structures have been demolished, and 269 prominent environmental issues have been completely resolved. An innovative ecological relocation pilot program has been implemented, guiding 203 households and 520 residents in the core and buffer zones to move out of the nature reserve.

Currently, an area of 774,000 square meters has been restored inside and outside the reserve, with nearly one million flowers and trees planted. The ecological construction and industrialization projects around Jinyun Mountain have been selected as a national EOD (Ecology-Oriented Development) pilot.

Ecological governance is a long-term project. Chongqing has now established a work command and coordination mechanism in which the city-level forest chief has unified command, the city-level departments have divided the work and cooperated, and the district-level forest chiefs have fulfilled their main responsibilities, providing strong support for the long-term and effective comprehensive governance of Jinyun Mountain. At the same time, Beibei District has invested 55 million yuan to build a smart Jinyun platform to realize the data, information and visualization of ecological resource management, and to carry out the "6+2" Jinyun Mountain comprehensive law enforcement regularly to make ecological governance sustainable.


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