Yucun village finds ‘green wealth’

HANGZHOU: Benefiting from environmental protection, Yucun Village in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province has found a secret of sustainable prosperity.
About 15 years ago, it was hard to imagine that the village could now have a beautiful country road with flowers lining either side, a national tourist attraction and hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting from across China each year.
The village achieved rapid development by running a cement factory and mining industries at that time but meanwhile suffered from severe air and water pollution.
“We hesitated on whether or not to shut down the factory,” said Jiang Zhihua, a villager who worked at the factory. “Although it brought income to almost every household in the village, we all lived in a hostile environment where dust hovered in the air and some villagers even had pneumoconiosis.”
The village decided to focus on environmental protection and choose a pace of sustainable development and has undergone unprecedented changes since then.
It shut down mining and other industries that caused pollution and started to develop tourism industries. In 2018, the village was listed as a 4A class tourist attraction, the second-best rating in a five-level assessment system for the country’s tourist attractions.
No garbage or trash cans can be seen from the road in the village. “The village has practiced garbage classification, and houshold garbage is collected and transported by designated personnel regularly,” said Hu Bin, a villager in Yucun.
“More than 800,000 tourists visit our village each year,” said Jiang. “The beautiful environment has brought us wealth.” Tourism has become a pillar industry of the village, which has 280 households and 1,050 villagers.
Pan Chunlin was a tractor driver working for a stone mine in the village. He opened the village’s first travel agency after the mine was closed.
– The Daily Mail-People’s Daily News exchange item