Recently my family and I went through photos we had taken in Scotland. These images brought back memories of my fascination with the pristine Scottish natural environment. There are the breathtaking highlands, the sparkling lochs, the magnificent glens and the abundant wildlife. All these reminded me of Liaoning, my home province.
I spent my childhood in Liaoning in northeast China. It resembles Scotland in many ways. It is a vast landscape with spectacular mountains and rivers. Equally well-known is its abundant wildlife. Roe deer and hares are a common sight. Unfortunately, in recent years some wild animals have become a rarity, in some areas, due to overdevelopment and depletion of natural resources.
However, when I was on home leave back in Liaoning earlier this month I was delighted, and greatly encouraged, by the vigorous efforts of local government and people to create a sustainable environment.
Hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland have been returned to forests, and over 10,000 kilometers of barren mountains have become restricted areas to encourage reforestation. All these actions are raising hope for improvement in the ecosystem. In the neighboring Jilin province, thanks to a decade-long hunting ban, populations of hare, roe deer, boar and other wildlife have all risen significantly. In other parts of China there are reports about the revival of glossy ibis, loris and sika deer as well as other endangered species. These are welcome indications of a positive turnaround of wildlife in China.
Underlying such good news are the strenuous efforts made by the Chinese government in creating a sustainable environment or “green” China. In recent years, China has placed greater emphasis on wildlife protection and enforced stricter measures. We have put in place a full range of rules and regulations with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protection of Wildlife and related forestry laws as the centerpieces. China has set up special agencies for wildlife rescue, breeding and release. These include breeding bases, zoos and wildlife reserves of which the panda center near Chengdu has become world-famous.