Sichuan's Environmental Treasure Goes up on the Big Screen Worldwide

Authors: China Daily, Daily Telegraph, The Washington Post

2016-02-24

The first two installments of the movie series Kung Fu Panda, the latest of which came out in China and the United States last month, includes Chinese elements such as Sichuan cuisine, tai chi and the colored belt dance.
Ecological barrier
The good ecological environment of the mountain and Dujiangyan is the result of protective measures throughout the entire province.
Luo Jianguo, chief engineer of the Sichuan Forestry Department, said the province is a large forestry province and one of the world’s 25 most critical ecological zones. The province has taken the lead in the country to launch a Natural Forest Protection Project.
Sichuan has also started a Grain for Green project initiated by the central government, which aims to control soil erosion and restore the environment by returning farmland to forests.
In another development, the Sichuan government proposed to build the ecological barrier in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River for the sake of the Yangtze River Basin.
So far, the province has afforested more than 16.5 million acres of land. Its total forest stock ranks third and forest area ranks fourth in the country. The sediment that enters the Yangtze River every year has been reduced by 300 million metric tons, nearly 80 percent of the flow, during peak season in the past,” Luo said.
“Nature is the true treasure,” Luo said. The annual value of ecological services provided by the province’s forests and wetlands, such as water conservation and air purification, is put at 1.65 trillion yuan ($251 billion).
The province has also protected more than 10,000 higher plants and 1,200 land vertebrates. Many of its endangered species, including the giant panda, have seen their number rise.
According to the fourth National Panda Census issued last year, there are 1,864 wild pandas in China, of which 1,387 are in Sichuan.
The province has been known to the world as home to giant pandas since French priest Jean Pierre Armand David discovered and documented the animals in Baoxing county in 1869.
Located on the western edge of the Sichuan Plain, Baoxing county is an important ecological area at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. It covers 1,202.3 square miles, 99.7 percent of which is mountainous and 75 percent of which belongs to the core area for the protection of pandas.
“Sichuan province strove to improve its ecological environment during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011- 15),” Luo said.
By the end of 2015, forests covered 36 percent of the province, 14 percentage points higher than the national average and 0.3 percentage point higher than in the previous year.
“Though a small number, the 0.3 percentage point means the forest area of Sichuan increased by 741,316 acres in 2015,” Luo said.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), Sichuan will continue to cultivate its forest ecosystem, restore the wetland ecosystem and control the desert ecosystem and, as a result, to essentially complete the construction of the ecological barrier in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Luo said.
By 2020, the forest coverage of Sichuan province is expected to reach 37 percent.
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