Looking Good: Ecology Meets Economy
A view of the well-preserved natural landscape in Nyingchi, Tibet autonomous region. [Photo by Palden Nyima/chinadaily.com.cn]
Nyingchi, Tibet autonomous region, has been combining ecological protection with economic development and seeking livelihood improvements while prioritizing healthy ecological conservation, foreign guests found.
Located in the southeastern part of the region, Nyingchi is rich in biodiversity, including in the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon, and in one of the largest forest areas of China.
Over the last few decades, a series of policies have been implemented, and heavy investment has been made; it goes ... all over Nyingchi.
As part of the 2023 Forum on the Development of Tibet, dozens of overseas guests and domestic experts were invited to tour the city between May 15 and 18. They had an opportunity to observe the natural landscapes, cultures and development outlook of the city.
Frank Sieren, a German bestseller author and one of the overseas guests on the field trip, said it was important to protect nature, because the next generations would like to see it. Therefore, "we really need to do a good job to protect it well".
Sieren said he has learned from his long-time stay in China that there is a big change in how people treat nature compared with when he first arrived decades ago.
"At the beginning when I came, no one cared about nature, it was only economic growth and making money. This is changing now in a dramatic way," he said.
He said what he can see from his visit, protecting the environment was an important development goal. And he was quite impressed with the balance between modernization and environment protection.
Sieren said he saw buildings in downtown areas, but in the remote countryside residential houses are kept in one place, and nature was kept untouched and clean.
Michael Crook, co-founder of the Western Academy of Beijing, another participant on the tour, also agreed about the importance balancing nature, preservation and economic development.
"We are part of nature, the humans need to consider human welfare, my own view tells me that they have got a pretty good balance here, it looks great and the quality of life is improving," Crook said.
Official statistics show the over a decade, the Nyingchi government has listed 79 percent of its land area under the scope of an ecological protection red line.
Covering more than 42,000 sq km, the city has established 14 various nature reserves, and the majority of national key protected animals receive better protection, according to the city's ecology and environment bureau.