The "Green" Charm of Red Jinggang Mountain

A visitor poses for a photo in Longtan scenery zone of Jinggang Mountain in Jiangxi on June 20, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

July 2, CRIENGLISH.com - To most foreigners interested in Chinese history, Jinggang Mountain is the mysterious "holy" land of China's revolution. It was on this mountain that Mao Zedong established China's first countryside revolutionary base and spread the seeds of success of the revolution to the whole nation. While today's Jinggang Mountain is not just "holy" but also "green", it is not only the cradle of Chinese revolution, but also a vast national forest park. Our reporter Yang Yang has more.


Feng Shuyi, a visitor from northeast China, answers questions from a CRI reporter at Jinggang Mountain in Jiangxi Province on June 20, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]Leaving the hustle and bustle of the city, one's first impression when stepping onto Jinggang Mountain is "harmony" - the harmonious living conditions between animals and plants, human beings and nature.

Now the beautiful mountain is attracting visitors from various places, both inside China and overseas.

"I think Jinggang Mountain is cleaner than many other places. We don't even see any litter around. The tourism environment is very good."

"I feel the mountain and water here are very beautiful, and people here are simple and friendly. There is no heavy industry around, and everything is very natural here."

"There are many animals around here, as well as different kinds of plants. Much original vegetation can be found here. It means the environment is well protected."

Located in the southwestern part of Jiangxi Province, Jinggang Mountain was once a deserted and barren place that was destroyed by war. But after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the government made great efforts to plant trees and protect the environment. In 1981, Jinggang Mountain became a provincial nature reserve, and 19 years later it became a national level nature reserve.

With a current population of 150 thousand and an area of more than 300 square kilometers, the average forest coverage of Jinggang Mountain is 86 percent. In some core scenic spots it is as high as 92 percent.

Plants in Longtan scenery zone in Jinggang Mountain, southwestern Jiangxi Province. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Jinggang Mountain Nature Reserve also has more than 30 kinds of precious plant species that are considered significant at the national level. The local government's efforts to protect the ecological environment have won many awards such as "The Educational Base of China's Nature Protection" award and "The Model of National Nature Reserve" award.

All the awards are closely connected to the hard work of the local people on Jinggang Mountain.

Deng Hongmei, a visitor from Guangdong Province, says he is deeply moved by the place's cleanliness.

"I am so touched by the hard-working sanitation workers. My colleagues who came here before us said they saw the cleaners still working around at 10:30 p.m. when they went out shopping at night. It's really very difficult to keep the environment clean since there are really so many people."

 Chen Min, director of the Jinggang Mountain Tourism Administration, answers CRI reporters' questions in Jinggang Mountain, Jiangxi Province on June 18, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]While conducting an interview, we saw Guo Lanping, a tea shop owner at the Longtan scenic spot picking up trash. He told us it was everyone's duty to protect the environment.

"As local citizens of Jinggang Mountain, we should make sure the environment is clean and beautiful, so that more visitors would like to come and enjoy. That's definitely true. Let's stand in the visitors' shoes. No visitor would like to visit a dirty place. "

As more people realize the importance of ecological protection, some are voluntarily keeping Jinggang Mountain green and beautiful.

People can rarely see warning signs such as "No smoking!" and "Don't step on the grass." Most of the local people take protecting the environment as their obligation. If they see visitors smoking, they will stop them politely by saying, "Hey friend, smoking is bad for your health. Why don't you choose to enjoy our Jinggang Mountain, the natural oxygen bar, instead of puffing cigarettes?"

Jinggang Mountain nature reserve has set a good example by encouraging local citizens to work together to protect the environment.

Li Zhengquan, director of the Longtan scenery zone, said at the beginning local citizens did not understand why it was important to protect the environment.

To help them thoroughly understand the importance of ecological protection on Jinggang Mountain, workers talked to local people in groups from day to night. Now the people living in the area not only accept the idea of protecting the environment, but also voluntarily stop visitors from destroying the area's ecological balance.

Plants in Longtan scenery zone in Jinggang Mountain, southwestern Jiangxi Province. Photo taken on June 20, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Li told us a popular story about Jiang Meifeng, one who stopped visitors from removing a type of lichen called umbilicaria that grows on rocks.

"One time when she saw a visitor climbing up the cliff scratching umbilicaria, Jiang Meifeng felt very uncomfortable. She said even though umbilicaria can't speak, it is also a kind of life, and we should protect it. She insisted on stopping visitors from destroying umbilicaria by travelling to and fro every day along a narrow but zigzagging footpath."

Jiang fell down and was injured in an incident. Her behavior embarrassed the visitor who tried to remove the lichen, and he apologized for his behavior. Since then, more people have become willing to protect the mountain's ecological environment voluntarily.

The government of Jinggang Mountain also took a series of measures to prevent the environment in this area from being destroyed.

To control the over-spreading of urbanization, the government and 3 million local people in the area moved 30 meters away from the nature reserve. The domestic waste they produce is now treated in a more ecologically friendly way.

But the emphasis on ecological protection will influence and restrict the development of other area industries.

Chen Min, director of the Jinggang Mountain Tourism Administration, said the government is trying to adjust the local industrial structure to ensure the development of the tourism in the area.

"This demands that we promote the development of the tourism industry from a pillar industry to a leading industry and develop ecologically friendly industries such as high-tech agriculture and the services industry."

 Deng Hongmei, a visitor from Guangdong, accepts a CRI interview in Jinggang Mountain, Jiangxi Province on June 19, 2009. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Jinggang Mountain has made great progress in stimulating the development of the tourism industry without destroying ecology.

The total revenue from its tourism industry last year was 2.7 billion yuan, which greatly contributed to the city's fiscal revenue.

Thirty-six thousand people here work in the tourism industry or related businesses. This has greatly reduced the area's unemployment.

With the harmonious development of the tourism industry and environmental protection efforts, Jinggang Mountain has become the first choice of many visitors. The green mountain, fresh air and beautiful scenery make it a wonderland that many people have dreamed of. Who can resist the attractiveness of such a blessed land with gorgeous scenery?