The first group of Tibetan farmers and herdsmen have been successfully relocated in a government program to protect natural forests in the upper reachesof the Yangtze River.
These resettled Tibetan villagers, 948 people from 148 families, were moved from Gonjo County, in Qamdo Prefecture of the northeastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to Bomi, Nyingchi and Mainling counties, in the southeast of the region.
Local forests, now covering 60,791 hectares, have been shrinking due to rampant logging by local people.
All the relocated families used to be poverty-stricken. As muchas 80 percent of local villagers in Gonjo were living under the poverty line, despite the diligent efforts made by governments at all levels.
At the four relocation spots for the first group of resettled villagers, families with five members or less received housing with a floor space of 96 square meters, while those with five or more people got floor space of 120 square meters, according to local officials.
Moreover, local governments have planted 28.8 hectares of grain crops, distributed fuel, food, furniture, farm equipment and machines, and built recreational facilities for the relocated families.
The regional government plans to relocate 1,000 households, or 10,000 people, for the same purpose within three years.
(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2001)