China / Society

Ecological tourism seen as good way to lift poor

By Luo Wangshu (China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-22 07:45

Ecological protection is a feasible way to end poverty, a Chongqing official said.

"Though we are a poor county, the revenue from the ecological industry in Wulong county reached 2 billion yuan ($308 million) in 2015," said He Ping, Party chief of Wulong county in Chongqing municipality.

He set a goal of 25 to 30 billion yuan in revenue for the ecological industry in 2020.

"Wulong has well-known ecological and tourism resources. We can encourage impoverished villagers to take advantage of the natural resources to develop the tourism industry to increase their incomes and lift them out of poverty," he said.

Wulong features spectacular karst landscapes and many natural wonders.

Ecological tourism seen as good way to lift poor

Wulong Karst is an important part of the South China Karst, which was named a World Natural Heritage by UNESCO in 2007. Wulong National Geology Park is home to the renowned Three Natural Bridges, Furong Cave and Houping Giant Doline.

Wulong has a population of about 350,000, and 55,000 of them live below the poverty line.

Li Lan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, agreed that protecting the ecology and developing an ecological industry could be a new model to tackle poverty.

"A plan to help the ecology will complement the poverty alleviation strategy," Li said.

Accomplishments in poverty alleviation have become an important part of evaluating a local official's performance.

In Wulong, two township leaders were removed from their posts in December because they did not pay enough attention and carry out poverty alleviation in their town, Xinhua News Agency reported.


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