Former coal-mining village benefits from better environment in E China

Years of efforts to prioritize environmental friendly development are paying off in Luexia Village in Pingxiang City, east China's Jiangxi Province, as locals' income has increased thanks to rapid tourism development.

Luexia Village used to be a coal mining village with polluted rivers and deforested lands. The local vegetation was severely damaged as a result of more than 60 years of coal mining.

In 2016, local governments closed 57 coal mines in response to the central government's call of promoting ecological friendly development and began to grow trees and flowers on the abandoned mines. The previous mines have been gradually restored into mountains and valleys with beautiful natural landscapes. The main industry for the village then transformed into tourism.

The improvement of ecological environment has also brought many opportunities for locals to increase income. Now, there are many tourism companies, guesthouses and restaurants in the village, serving large flocks of tourists every year.

"Now we have lucid waters and lush mountains, especially the flower centering scenic area. It was a place for piling up cinder, but now it has turned to a large tract of flower sea. I am really proud that many tourists say the air here is quite good," said Wen Zhaoming, a villager of Luexia.

The local government has just implemented measures at 28 other coal mines, turning more than 60,000 mu (about 4,002 hectares) of abandoned coal mines into green mountains.

(Cover image: The beautiful landscape of Pingxiang City in east China's Jiangxi Province. /VCG)

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