President Xi Jinping learns about the management and protection of the Saihanba forest farm in Hebei province, as well as the province's coordinated efforts to conserve its mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes and grasslands, and desertification control, during an inspection tour of the forest farm on Monday. XIE HUANCHI/XINHUA
President praises hardworking spirit of Saihanba foresters
President Xi Jinping has called for further progress in developing the green economy and ecological conservation and praised the spirit of foresters in Saihanba, Hebei province, who planted in recent decades the world's biggest cultivated forest.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark on Monday during an inspection tour of the Saihanba forest farm, which is regarded as a leading example of the nation's efforts to advance ecological conservation.
During his visit, Xi learned about how the foresters manage and protect the forest farm and Hebei's coordinated efforts to conserve its mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes and grassland, as well as its efforts to control desertification.
Xi told the foresters their work is significant and they have acted as role models to inspire the nation to achieve ecological progress.
The Saihanba forest farm, located around 400 kilometers north of Beijing, covers about 70,000 hectares. In the 1950s, the region was a wasteland due to rampant logging, which resulted in the Chinese capital and adjacent regions being frequently hit by sandstorms.
Organized by forestry authorities, hundreds of trailblazing foresters and engineers embarked on tree planting in Saihanba in 1962 to try to stop the rapid desertification. Since then, three generations of Saihanba foresters have managed to increase forest cover in the region from 11.4 percent in the early 1960s to 80 percent today. Such woodlands have become an important environmental shield and green lung for Beijing and neighboring regions.
Due to this dramatic transformation, Saihanba was given a Champions of the Earth Award, the highest honor of the United Nations Environment Program, at the third UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi in December 2017.
During his visit, Xi spoke of the hardworking spirit the Saihanba foresters demonstrated in planting the forest, saying it is part of the spirit of the CPC to struggle for success.
The entire Party and nation should have the same spirit in their efforts to develop the green economy and promote ecological conservation, he said.
As a champion of green development, Xi has attached great importance to ecological conservation in the high-quality development of the country. He has said that "lush mountains and lucid waters are invaluable assets".
In 2017, in an instruction on the achievements of the Saihanba forest farm, he commended the foresters for the "miracles" they performed in "turning a barren wasteland into a thriving forest".
The development of Saihanba is the result of the persistent efforts and dedication of forestry workers, and has set a great example in China's pursuit of ecological progress, Xi said.
Efforts to pursue green development and ecological progress should be made from one generation to the next, to create harmony between man and nature and leave a better environment for future generations, he said.
Xi also visited the city of Chengde on Tuesday, where he learned about its efforts in cultural heritage protection, religious work, ethnic unity, rural vitalization and eldercare.
Source: China Daily