Catalyst for Change

  • 来源:北京周报
  • 关键字: initiative , excessiveland reclamation ,growth
  • 发布时间:2019-10-12 08:16

  Some two decades ago, Yan’an City innorthwest China’s Shaanxi Province used toconjure up the image of a dry yellow loessplateau with barren hills and desolate gullies.Today, however, that image is a thing of thepast.

  Since 1999, when a major reforestation initiative was launched, the renownedcity, which hosted the headquarters of theCommunist Party of China (CPC) from 1935to 1948, has been transformed, becomingnot only greener but also more prosperous.

  The plateau, which suffered severe ecological degradation in the wake of excessiveland reclamation for farming and overgrazing, has seen a remarkable improvement inits environment over the past two decades.Official statistics show that from 1999 to2017, Yan’an created 1.4 million hectaresof forests, of which more than half wererestored from farmland. The forest coverreached 46.35 percent, up 12.7 percentagepoints from 1999. Apart from the visiblegreen cover, the ecological progress ofYan’an can also be seen in the growing rainfall and the decrease of sandstorms.

  At the same time, Yan’an has overcomeabsolute poverty. Villagers have abandonedlabor-intensive yet unprofitable grain production on steep slopes and turned tomore profi table forms of agriculture such asgrowing fruits, most notably apples, whichare now a signature industry of the city. Thedevelopment of infrastructure has enhancedaccessibility and connectivity in the previously isolated mountainous region. Tourism hasalso opened up new possibilities to increasefarmers’ income as they engage in the catering industry.

  Going forward, Yan’an is poised to makegreater headway as it upgrades local industries for more sustainable development.While pursuing economic growth, it continues to protect its ecosystem with moreresources channeled to maintaining andimproving its forests.

  Behind the city’s reforestation and poverty alleviation programs and endeavors ofsimilar magnitude elsewhere in China arededicated Party members who work on thefrontline to make things happen. There are,of course, many factors that underlie China’ssuccess story, but the CPC’s unifying andleading role is one of the most essential.

  Unlike in some countries where political parties largely serve as politicians’ shortterm tools to win elections, the CPC has along-term mission. Founding the People’sRepublic of China 70 years ago was the beginning. With a mandate to seek happinessfor the Chinese people and achieve nationalrejuvenation, the CPC is a driving force forchange. Its 90 million members in differentsectors of society are committed to advancing these goals despite all hardships andsetbacks that they may encounter.

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