Largest Ecological Migration Started in Arid Area in Northwest China
In order to accelerate the poverty elimination and reduce the ecological destruction caused by human activities, Chinese government launched the ecological migration project of the arid area in central Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in March 2008, in hope of relocating 206 thousand poverty-stricken farmers in the following five years to the areas with irrigation water sources either along highways or surrounding cities. The project involves 185 villages in the arid area of central Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The Central and local governments will invest totally 2.84 billion yuan (RMB) in this project to reclaim a territory of 711.5 thousand mu① and to construct 42 settlements for relocating the migrants. In the past year, 18 thousand people have been relocated, with the subsidies of one mu irrigable land for each person and one subsidized greenhouse for each household. When efforts were made to help the migrants resume their production and living in the new settlements, due attention were also paid to reclaiming grassland form farmland and stopping pasturage in mountains for forest recovery in the original settlements, so as to gradually regain the vegetation in the arid area of ecological fragility.