April 11, 2018 By Joseph S. Margai in Beijing, China
The government of China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, has embarked on massive afforestation of mountains that were used to mine stones (rocks) for manufacturing of cement.
Already, the sum of twenty million United States Dollars (US$20m) has been allocated for the Baopoling ecological restoration project, a three-year project which is now in its second year with lot of progress made.
Speaking to journalists at the project site, Mr. Xing, Project Manager of Baopoling Ecological Project, said it was more difficult to afforest deforested mountains because there is no soil for trees to grow on them.
He said the Baopoling Mountain, which was previously used to mine rocks for manufacturing cements, has been reforested in the last two years, noting that the reforestation project of the mountain is a three-year project undertaken by the Chinese government.
He revealed that they used twenty (20) tons of water per hour to irrigate trees that had been planted on the once deforested mountain, stating that the irrigation is being powered by a solar plant.
“We get torrential downpour of rain in Sanya only in July and August and because we don’t normally get rain for the rest of the year, we harvest it and store so that we will always have water for the trees,” he said.
Xing noted that because there was not enough soil to provide the needed nutrients for the trees on the once deforested mountain, they applied fertiliser on them so that they would group fast and strong.
He, however, said they would only apply fertiliser and water the trees for two years and after which the trees would grow for themselves.
Xing said the mountain is 120 square metres and one-third of the trees on it was brought and planted by volunteers who embraced the importance of the project.
“We have 40 workers on this project. Owing to the fact that we have succeeded in this project, we are replicating it to all the mountains that have been deforested. The Chinese government wants to protect the environment at all cost and we are determined to save wildlife in the forests,” he said.
Xing revealed that after the afforestation of the mountain in the last two years, wildlife like cobras, snakes and birds, among others, have returned to the forest.
He said that at the end of the project the government would transform the newly afforested mountain into a park for tourist attraction.
Xing said China has been putting lots of modalities in place in order to prevent climate change with afforestation being just one among many other modalities that have been embarked on by the Chinese government.
According to the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit held in September 2014 in New York, climate change is not a far-off problem.
“It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies,” erstwhile UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the summit.