China / Tibet through the eyes of its people

Redemption for Tibetan loggers turned ecotourism pioneers

By Chen Bei in Tibet ( Updated: 2015-08-11 09:23

Editor's Note:This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Tibet autonomous region. The China Daily website profiles ten ordinary people, providing a snapshot of life in contemporary Tibet and the great changes the region has experienced over the past 50 years.

Redemption for Tibetan loggers turned ecotourism pioneers

Tashigang village is surrounded by mountains and forest, Aug 7, 2015. [Photo by Chen Bei/]

With age comes wisdom and helps a man get closer to nature – that's what life has taught Pasang Tsering over the past 53 years.

"As my body ages I am increasingly caught in the beauty of untouched nature," said the Tibetan villager at his family inn.

He said the best time to visit the mountainous area and forests is at sunrise. That is when birds, animals and plants come to life.

"The reward for listening and watching is great," he said. "I am there, a quiet witness to the wakening life that graces the earth. It is something so delicate as to stupefy the senses".

A Tibetan Buddhist, Pasang stands in awe of nature.

As village head he also knows the additional value that unblemished nature has brought to the land where his home is situated.

Tashigang village, hidden in deep forest in southeastern Tibet's Nyingchi city, is dubbed by Chinese Internet users the "Oriental mini-Switzerland" for its rich vegetation.

Latest official statistics show that 47.6 percent of Nyingchi is covered by forest, and the figure reached 55.1 percent in Bakyub district where Tashigang village can be found.

Logging business

The lush forests changed Pasang's life twice, ironically in diverging ways.

The first time was in 1984. The then-22-year-old cut down a spruce tree with the help of five other villagers.

"Six arms could barely encircle the tree, and we drove a horse cart to transport it to a timber factory in town," he recalled.

The tree was to sell for about 80 yuan ($13.7). That was a fortune at the time when an experienced urban worker in a State-owned enterprise was paid some 40 yuan a month.

The whole village began taking advantage of the abundance of forestry resources as the main source of family incomes. "I could annually pocket about 7,000 yuan by logging," Pasang said.

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