In a mountain village in Pan’an, Jinhua, Zhejiang, a 75-year-old farmer, Cao Lanzhao, still insists on taking a walk in the woods around village every day. He has been planting trees around this mountainous village for more than 40 years. Since 1984, when he and his family began contracting mountainous land for tree planting, the veteran farmer has had a lifelong relationship with trees.
Standing in front of the newly invested epidemic wood treatment enterprise. Cao Lanzhao takes out a photo of the original barren mountain. “At that time, people were busy running factories to make money, but I went to plant trees, and many people thought I was stupid.”
Cao Lanzhao contracted 586.46 acres of barren mountains in 1983, and in 2004, the first phase of the contract expired, and the once barren mountains had been planted with greenery. He also became a national model worker and brought his family to live a rich life.
Now, Cao Lanzhao and his son continue to contract the forest. The factories in the neighborhood have quietly moved away, but Cao Lanzhao and his forests are becoming more lush. Walking between the mountains and forests, we also saw a few eagles circling high in the sky. This brought back memories for Cao Lanzhao: “40 years ago, when I first planted trees, there were no big birds here. Now, wild boars, hares, foxes and mountain muntjacs have all returned.”
The wave of green economy is blowing into China from the world. In the eyes of many farmers in coastal, this is a brand-new opportunity. Pan’an in Jinhua, where Cao Lanzhao is located, now has a forest coverage rate of 83.8%, a forest volume of 5,626,000 cubic meters, and an annual ecological value of forests of 7.48 billion yuan. Green forests are becoming a new source of wealth.
But Cao Lanzhao obviously does not want to overdraw these “wealth” at once. He said that he and his family have taken these woods as a bank, as long as the government keeps its promise, his children and grandchildren will continue to get wealth in these “banks”.
It remains to be seen how this wave of green economy will change the lives of ordinary Chinese people. Government policies, and human persistence, will have to be put to the economic and political test. But in any case, as in many places that see the green economy as an opportunity, life for these Chinese may already be happening quietly.