Villagers partner with park to protect world heritage site

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-04-02 16:41:01

More than 14.4 million visitors came to Diqing in 2014, and the number is growing every year. Zhang Yonglin, deputy director of the Diqing forestry bureau, said by developing tourism on 2.3 percent of park land, the park earns enough to pay farmers and protect the environment.

"The villagers have turned protecting the environment into a volunteer activity," said Hotang, an official with Potatso National Park.

In neighboring Nujiang prefecture, reforestation has been a priority. More than 1,800 rangers have been hired to plant trees, patrol the forest and guard them against poachers.

The prefecture aims to turn at least 40,000 hectares of farmland into forest or grassland in the next five years.

During the past six years, the central government and the province have invested 367 million yuan (about 56 million U.S. dollars) to protect the forest in Nujiang. More than 75,000 hectares of forest have been added.

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