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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Photo Highlights
Saihanba — From a single tree to a forest
    2017-August-31  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

ABOUT 400 kilometers north of Beijing lies a large swathe of trees that is critically important to water and air quality in the capital. It is an environmental shield which reduces sandstorms.

The Saihanba forest purifies 137 million cubic meters of water for the Beijing-Tianjin area and can deliver half a million tons of oxygen, but more than half a century ago it was nothing more than a barren land.

Zhao Yunguo, director of the forest management office, pointed towards a tree, about 20 meters tall, and called it “the tree of merit.” “Fifty-six years ago, there was only one tree, this one. Without it, there would have been no Saihanba,” Zhao said.

Saihanba is a combination of Chinese and Mongolian meaning “beautiful highlands.” Until the Qing Dynasty (1616-1912), it was a royal hunting grounds.

When the dynasty was on its last legs, Emperor Tongzhi opened the land for lumber to make up for a state deficit. The area quickly turned into sterile land on the verge of a Mongolian desert.

Efforts to rehabilitate the land started in the 1960s. In October, 1961, a group of six arboriculturalists went on an expedition through the land and studied the possibility of growing trees there.

“They found this one tree, standing alone in the vast land. They literally went to hug the tree, and every one was in tears,” said Zhao.

If one tree can survive here, so can millions of trees — such was people’s hope with Saihanba. In the last five years, the workers planted trees on 83 percent of the land. The rest of tree planting work will be finished next year.

The barren wasteland 56 years ago is now a vast forest of 7.5 hectares.  

(Xinhua)

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