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Some Figures About China's West
Want to know more about the vast stretches of China’s west? This story edited by Xinhua News Agency and translated by china.org.cn presents some specific figures concerning the development of the region in relation to education, environmental protection and forestry construction.

Ningxia: 400,000 become literate

According to the fifth national population census, at the end of 2000 in Ningxia 82 percent of the population under age 60 has at least a primary school education, an increase of 13 percent over 1990. The decade witnessed a reduction of 400,000 illiteracies. In 1990, Ningxia implemented a nine-year compulsory education system, giving top priority to Xihaigu region, one of the poorest areas in China. The region tried hard to guarantee that all children of school age could go to school. Meanwhile, the province launched an anti-illiteracy campaign aimed at population above the age of 15.

Yunnan: Over 300 bird species found in White Horse Snow Mountain Reserve

A recent investigation report shows 319 bird species recorded in White Horse Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, which is called “home of birds” in Yunnan Province. The department of forestry of Yunnan Province previously had recorded 216 bird species. The management bureau carried out the recent survey called “Investigation on bird’s reproduction in White Horse Snow Mountain Reserve.”

Guangxi: 5.77 million acres of forests funded by state

With the launching of a pilot project on financing forest ecology building in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 2.33 million hectares (5.77 million acres) of key shelter forests and special-purposed forests received state funds. They account for 23 percent of the total forested areas in Guangxi.

Among the 2.33 million hectares (5.77 million acres) of forest land, 2.16 million hectares (5.33 million acres) are woodland, 150,000 hectares (370,658 acres) are shrubbery, 15,333 hectares (37,889 acres) are under forest, and 10,000 hectares (24,711 acres) are sparse woodland. Each hectare will get 75 yuan (US$9.06) subsidy from the state.

Sichuan: 131,789 acres of forests grow from aerial seeding

Aerial seeding has covered 53,333 hectares (131,789 acres) of land annually on an average in Sichuan Province, according to the provincial forestry administration. Over the past four decades, such kind of afforestation has been implemented in 64 counties of 16 cities and prefectures. The total seeded area reached 2.19 million hectares (5.41 million acres) of which about 733,000 hectares (1.81 million acres) have become forests. These forested areas are now a vanguard to the ecological environment at the upper reaches of Yangtze River, and are playing an increasingly more important role in water reserves, flood prevention, fertilizer maintenance, wind and sand control and climate adjustment. In addition, the aerial seeding of forest in the Liangshan area provides thousands of cubic meters of intermediate cutting timbers to large paper factories in Yibin and Leshan cities. The income of local people and income from subsidiary forestry products account for more than 25 percent of the total local agriculture incomes. The total income from forest byproducts is 20 times the figure before the implementation of aerial seeding.

Gansu: 7 foreign-aided projects to bolster ecology

Starting this year, Gansu Province launched one after another seven foreign aided projects to protect forest ecology. With the implementation of the strategy to develop west China, the ecological construction in China’s west areas has received wide attention from many foreign governments, organizations and experts who have come to visit Gansu, offering financial aid and cooperation.

(新华社[Xinhua News Agency], translated by Li Liangdu for china.org.cn, May 6, 2002)

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