Forest conservation in Hongya County
Up in the mountains of Hongya County, a massive tree-planting scheme is under way. Head Forest Ranger, Chen Weizhong, who once logged the mountain slopes, now protects them from illegal tree-felling.
Professor Hu Tingxing, an ecologist from Sichuan University, is also involved with the forest’s conservation. He is testing different plants to see which can give the best protection against soil erosion. Bamboo turns out to be the winner. Not only does it grow quickly, giving fast ground cover, it also has many commercial uses. After four years of reforestation, the mountains are well covered and proof of the reduced soil erosion is now visible in the river waters below: once thick with silt, they now run clear.