By Jieyu Wang, Editor
Located in Southwest China, Chongqing is known as a mountain city with unique low mountains and hills. It also features an abundant water system with crisscrossing rivers, and the stem stream of the Yangtze River runs through it from west to east, stretching for 665 kilometers. The world-renown Three Gorges lies in Fengjie and Wushan.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Chongqing has been developing an ecological civilization. Over the past 70 years and since the 18th CPC National Congress, Chongqing has developed in accordance with the successful implementation of the Five Actions. These include conceding the land to forestry and environment protection, increasing the forest coverage area of the two banks of the Yangtze River, intensified efforts in water control, and significantly-improved eco-environment, signifying the realization of building Chongqing into a beautiful city with charming natural landscapes.
On August 25 and in Shengjia Village, Cizhu Township, Wanzhou District, the formerly desolate land has been planted with green plums.
Shengjia Village is located in the middle of Fangdou Mountain. Though being 30 kilometers away from the Yangtze River, it suffered severe stony desertification. Heavy rain will sweep away sand and soil into gulleys and the Yangtze River. Most farmers had given up cultivating the land for its barrenness, aggravating the water and soil erosion.
The Yangtze River Natural Forest Protection Project is one of China’s key afforestation projects for the Yangtze River basin. In 2017, Wanzhou will start conducting phase III of its afforestation project, and its local people have planted green plums, covering around 670 kilometers, with the project subsidy. When the forests have taken shape, it is expected to control the water and soil erosion.
Over the past seven decades, people have worked to improve the eco-environment on the two banks of the Yangtze River. Chongqing has seen the practices of returning the grain plots to forestry, Natural Forest Protection Project, Yangtze River Natural Forest, One-Million-mu Green Shield Project around Lakes in the Three Gorges, comprehensive treatment of stony desertification, land virescence, and others, which have improved the eco-environment here.
Thanks to the joint efforts of the departments and the public in Chongqing, the Yangtze River celebrates a significantly-improved eco-environment. Currently, the forestry area is around 39,760 square kilometers, the living wood growing stock is 221 million cubic meters, and the forest coverage rate has jumped from 20.98% in the late 1990s to today’s 48.3%, ranking the fourth among provinces in Western China. For people in the Bayu region, green plants can be seen here and there.
In Nanhua Community, Liangshan Sub-district, Liangping District, the Baishahe area, once reduced to an underground river before, has been tidy and clean again.
To improve the sewage collection rate and reduce the impacts of sewage on the surrounding waters, Liangping District has actively promoted the construction of a sewage pipe network. From 2013 to 2018, it invested RMB 36 million, RMB 47 million, and RMB 31 million (a total of RMB 114 million) to build 14.4 kilometers of first-grade, 19.3 kilometers of second-grade, and 46.1 kilometers of third-grade pipe networks respectively. Currently, Liangping has realized the treatment of black and odorous water body in its urban regions and the sewage collection rate of over 90%.
Over the past 70 years, with the fast development of Chongqing’s economy and society, the demand for pollution reduction is increasing. In recent years, Chongqing has implemented the Ten Measures against Water Pollution and continued the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Water Pollution. It is striving to promote the treatment of lakes and reservoirs in the central urban regions, enlarge the coverage of sewage treatment in towns and villages, environmental pollution control and treatment in the rural areas, thus improved the water quality of the Three Gorges Reservoir.
In 2018, Chongqing enjoyed the sound quality of surface water quality and excellent quality of Chongqing section of the stem stream of the Yangtze River. In the 42 water sections involved in the national assessment, 90.5% reached or exceeded Class III, 2.4 percent higher than the annual national level. Forty-eight black and odorous water bodies have been cleaned, and all centralized sources of drinking water met the quality standards.
In this June, over 100,000 tons of Wushan plums came into the market.
Also, in this year, some 150,000 fruit farmers are beaming with joy for another harvest drawing near based on the market condition. They have attributed the sound development to the project of returning to the grain plots to forestry.
Since its implementation, Chongqing has put the priority on economic forests and encouraged those who satisfy the related conditions to grow the commercial forests.
The public has widely welcomed the way of green development. Under the support of the project of returning to the grain plots to forestry, the planting area of Wushan plums has increased rapidly, reaching to Daxi, Wuxia, and many other villages and townships in addition to Quchi Township. At last, plum forests of roughly 147 square kilometers have brought green to mountains and wealth to people, reaching the win-win outcome of ecology and economy.
Backed by various key forestry projects, Chongqing has now built up 2,820 square kilometers of bamboo bases, 1,346.67 square kilometers of woody oil plant bases, 813.33 square kilometers of traditional Chinese medicinal material bases, 946.67 square kilometers of pepper plant bases, 3,400 square kilometers of forestry economy, 4,240 square kilometers of fruit plants including oranges, and 266.67 square kilometers of tree and flower bases. Chongqing has thus primarily contributed to the improvement of the eco-environment on the two banks of the Yangtze River.