China's national reserve forests aid biodiversity

The levels of biodiversity as well as water and soil conservation are improving in China with the development of national reserve forests that house a variety of precious and rare trees.

A core water source of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project is located in Xichuan County, central China's Henan Province. In order to guarantee water quality, the county has been developing national reserve forests to realize water and soil conservation.

Xichuan County has karst landform, which makes afforestation really difficult. Therefore, the local government uses mingled forest tree planting, seedling growing and other such methods to aid afforestation. 

Liu Dingzhou, head of Xichuan County Forestry Bureau, said they planted trees with a large-diameter trunk to prevent loss of water and soil.

"We chose tree varieties with a large trunk diameter. When the trees grow up, their advantages will be visible. These varieties will do better in water preservation and soil consolidation," said Liu.

Authorities in east China's Jiangxi Province have been growing trees of different varieties in forests according to local conditions. In Jishui County of Jiangxi's Ji'an City, a national reserve forest has been developed with a rare local tree variety.

Trees with thick trunks can efficiently prevent loss of water and soil. /VCG

Trees with thick trunks can efficiently prevent loss of water and soil. /VCG

The national reserve forests in Jiangxi's Yichun City have also been contributing to biological protection. Yichun's forestry personnel report sighting rare animal species in the forests, including the Chinese stump-tailed macaque, which is under second-class state protection in China.

"Our national reserve forests are good not only commercially, but also for being havens for wildlife. They are home to over 10 kinds of rare protected species, such as Thorold's deer and silver pheasants, besides Chinese stump-tailed macaques," said Yuan Chun, head of Yuanzhou District State-owned Forest Farm.

A silver pheasant. /VCG

A silver pheasant. /VCG

The development of national reserve forests benefits the country in many ways, such as increasing high-quality wood reserves and improving local biodiversity. They also contribute to China's efforts to meet its decarbonization goals.

"The national reserve forests improve the carbon aggregation capability of the forest's biological system. The establishment of national reserve forests is an important means of protecting China's biological safety," said Shi Min, deputy director of the Construction Management Office of the Forest Bases for Fast Growing and High Yield Tree Varieties with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

(Cover: The forests in Jinggang Mountain, Jiangxi Province, E China. /VCG)

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