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  • Home > News > Details
    Yangtze River Stories (7) Three Gorges reservoir area in Chongqing getting greener and richer
    Realizing the essential role of trees in soil and water conservation, the Three Gorges Reservoir area in southwest China’s Chongqing has invested 4.6 billion yuan for some 173,000 hectares of afforestation in the reservoir area, improving both ecological conservation and personal income.

    The municipal government has invested a total of 4.6 billion yuan in the follow-up work of the Three Gorges Project, and completed over 2.6 million mu (about 173,000 hectares) of afforestation in the reservoir area, including more than one million mu of economic forests, mainly citrus fruits and olive groves. The forest coverage rate increased to over 51 percent in 2017 from 37 percent in 2010.

    The water level in the reservoir fluctuates between 145 and 175 meters every year. As a result, a riparian zone covering more than 300 square kilometers has formed in Chongqing, which poses a challenge for researchers, since drought-tolerant plants drown during the water storage season and flood-tolerant plants die in the dry season.

    In 2009, Ren Ping, the then director of the Forestry Science Research Institute of Wanzhou District in Chongqing, grew the first “Zhongshan fir” in this special zone, as an experiment in the riparian zone.

    Since then, Ren and his team have successfully planted more than 1,500 mu (100 hectares) of Zhongshan fir to guard the 45-kilometer section of Yangtze River in Chongqing. “Once you find the industrialization opportunities, you do not have to invest money into the riparian zone. Instead, you can make money out of its sustainable growth,” Ren noted.

    The Yangtze River has a fragile ecology, and long-lasting efforts must be made for better preservation. Restoration of the rivers ecological environment should be prioritized on the development plan for the Yangtze River economic belt, experts noted.

    (Xu Shuya contributed to the story)

    © Copyright 2017 Invest in Wanzhou
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