Ten Years

DATA:2022-01-14  Views:3

In 2010, Lao Niu Foundation, the Nature Conservancy (TNC), The China Green Carbon Foundation, the Inner Mongolia Forestry Department and other partners launched the Inner Mongolia Shengle International Ecological Demonstration Zone project in Inner Mongolia, which aims at maintaining the function of the northern ecological barrier.  Through the government - enterprise - scientific research institutions-NGO and other various social forces to participate in and practice drought happened in key ecosystem restoration and protection, constructing the ecosystem restoration and protection of the adaptation to climate change and environmental friendly industries development fully combining demonstration area, and the successful experience of the demonstration zone to a wider arid half arid areas. 

Horinger County, the site of the project, is located in the agricultural and pastoral transitional zone of Inner Mongolia, which is an ecologically fragile area. Desertification, soil erosion and water shortage are important ecological problems in this area.  Time flies, and now the project have entered its eleventh year.  How has it changed over the years?  We use a series of old photos to connect a small story, to tell you the development and maturity of the project and the story of the project people. 

"You are no longer alone" -- The story of an old apricot tree

The original old apricot tree| Source: TNC 

At the beginning of the project, only an old apricot tree stood there for several kilometers.  Lonely, but also tough. The old apricot tree is said to have a hundred years of age, the trunk of the three branches, each as thick as an adult's torso.  In the eyes of the old people in the village, the old apricot tree represents a spirit. In the days of yellow sand, it always gives birth to the soft pink buds on time, indicating that it can always give birth to inexhaustible hope in difficulties. 

In fact, the old apricot tree is also a kind of spiritual support for our project staff.  At the beginning of the project design, facing the dry and cracked land, how can we to achieve the comprehensive restoration of trees, shrubs and grass?  How to create a carbon sink forest?  We were at a loss for a while.  But when we saw the hundred-year-old apricot tree standing quietly in front of us, we seemed to have the answer.  

The old apricot tree at present| Source: TNC

More than ten years have passed; the old apricot tree is still pregnant with moist buds, but less yellow sand around it.  Old apricot trees are accompanied by Tabulaeformis pine, elm, sylvestre pine, apricot, juniper and seventy or eighty herbs. The environment is better than before, and the villagers became rich, coming and going popularity is also flourishing.  The old apricot tree is no longer alone.

High trees needs higher platform

              ——the story of viewing platform

When the saplings were first planted| Source: TNC 

When the project design was completed, we scooped out a small platform on the top of the highest hill of the project site in Area 2, which could view the whole demonstration area and observe the changes of the project site year by year.  However, we gradually realized that this platform was no longer enough. The growth of the trees completely obscured our view, and we could only identify the species and count the age of the sylvestre pine.  The nearby landscape was completely invisible, not to mention the old almond trees in the distance.  As a result, we realized that the "platform" should be higher when the trees are taller, and that the project needs to be constantly reviewed and revised on a higher platform, rather than being satisfied with the status quo.