Qingyuan's decades of efforts in green development pay off
The past two decades have seen fast economic growth in Qingyuan county, which showed a gross regional product (GRP) of 7 billion yuan ($1 billion) in 2018. Despite its rocketing GRP, Qingyuan is the second greenest county in Lishui, East China's Zhejiang province, thanks to its years of efforts in ecological development.
Apart from encouraging the locals to plant trees, the government of the Qingyuan county has shut down many polluting factories to restore good air and water quality, and dropped industrial production, taxation and other economic factors as performance metrics.
The locals have the opportunity to work at the county's national aquaculture reserves. "The job pays me 1,200 yuan per month," said one local excitedly.
The government also emphasizes the role of ecotourism in making Qingyuan a well-known destination and spurring the local economy. Qingyuan's total tourism earnings rose to 2.94 billion yuan in 2019 from 8 million yuan in 2001.
Qingyuan, a typical mountainous area characterized by conspicuous mountain ranges, leverages its abundant ecological resources to grow specific crops such as mushrooms, which are known as Qingyuan Mushroom around the world. The gross output value of all products of farming, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishing was 1.09 billion yuan in 2019, a metric that was only 448 million yuan in 2000.
The quality of life of Qingyuan's people has been greatly enhanced by the accelerating tourism industry, which has created many jobs for locals and an improved transport network.