From chopping to protecting: Forest gatekeepers for four generations

BEIJING, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by on China’s philosophy on the protection of forest resources:

From chopping to protecting: Forest gatekeepers for four generations

From chopping to protecting: Forest gatekeepers for four generations

In Jing’an County, southeastern China’s Jiangxi province, sits a forest farm boasting a pleasing green ocean brimming with trees. That, is the Sanzhaolun Forest Farm; as the first national forest park in Jiangxi province, 94.59% of the land inside the park is covered by forests.

The blooming green hues are cultivated by numerous workers, among whom four generations of the Zhu family have passed on the baton of forest custodianship for more than six decades.

Zhu Jiufu, the grandfather of the Zhu family, began his story with the forest farm in 1965. Back then, timber and Mao bamboo were plentiful in the Sanzhaolun Forest Farm, with production hitting 10,000 m3 of wood per year. There, Zhu Jiufu worked together with his father Zhu Chuqiao, chopping, transporting, protecting and growing wood.

It’s not hard to imagine, the growing of new trees can hardly match the rate of deforestation. In the following 20 years, the forests became less and less dense, and mudslides even began to damage villages.

Pondering over such pain, Zhu Chuqiao, the great-grandfather, decided to put down his chainsaw once and for all after a production injury, and devoted himself to afforestation. In a larger context, he is answering to the call of the country: Since 1998, China has put a stop to the cutting of natural forests, and begun restoring farmland to forests and grasslands. People in Sanzhaolun County hence put more effort into preserving and expanding forests.

Zhu Feike, daughter of Zhu Jiufu, as the third generation in the family, has her own special memory.

She was born and raised on this forest farm. After graduating from college, she chose to return home and became a forestry engineer. Since 2012, China has been advancing ecological conservation and deepening reforms in forestry. Sanzhaolun Public Welfare Forest Farm was founded in 2015, the same year when tree-cutting was forbidden. Zhu Feike was responsible for the monitoring of forest resources, focusing on the improvement of the quality and ecological function of the forests, which is largely different from what her father and grandfather did on the forest farm.

Today, Zhu Feike’s “home forest” has not only seen lusher trees, but also attracted endangered species like the Chinese merganser and Elliot’s pheasant, adding to its natural beauty.

Last September, Nie Boyu, daughter of Zhu Feike, officially took the baton and became the fourth generation of guardians in the family. When the Gen-Z girl went back to Sanzhaolun, a green industry chain featuring eco-tourism and leisure had rolled out. Profits have flowed from the lucid waters and lush mountains.

From deforestation to preservation, the story of the family’s four generations on a forest farm epitomizes how China’s philosophy on the protection of forest resources iterates. Over the past seven decades, the principle developed from the planned utilization of forests, to realizing sustainable forest utilization, to the current integration of conservation and restoration projects of mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes, grasslands and deserts. With no spared efforts in ecological conservation, China has become the country with the fastest and largest increase in wood resources in the world.

 “The forest is like our very life for us forest guardians. The last thing we want is to see the forest shrink.” This is a line passed down for four generations in the Zhu family. At present, the green hues of the forest are becoming denser, lusher, and nicer.

China Mosaic

From chopping to protecting: Forest gatekeepers for four generations