Land in your country: needs to be left in its natural condition or needs to be developed?

China, my homeland, has 9.6 million square kilometers. It is big enough to feed 1.4 billion population with lesser hunger and ostensible peace. But we had to face the truth that the government still does not use lands efficiently enough and made so many serious environmental issues. Soil erosion, land desertification, wetland degradation, and so on. Hence I think it is a good chance for us to discuss that how could we keep balance with environmental protection and economic development.

Ruichang, a little city where I came from, stays aside by the longest river in China. The municipal government has strong ambitions to develop the economy in the past thirty years. They were tried to landfill thousands of mu lands to build new residential areas; they were tried to introduce serval cement factories beside the Yangtze; they were tried to build the biggest government square in Jiangxi province. Sadly, they achieved them all perfectly.

It is only a spot of Chinese development in the last thirty years. Hundreds and thousands of small municipal governments smashed land, river, and forest in every capillary of this country. They were only focused on economic development without any foresight. Back to Ruichang, New residential areas have been abandoned because no enough people to live; Cement factories polluted air and water beside the small town of Yangtze; But the government square still there, it is so big, even bigger than Tiananmen Square.

On the other hand, the central government actually is a great example of small municipal governments. It built the biggest dam in the world, blocking the Yangtze from one in two. Four million people have to move to other places. Many cultural historic sites such as temples and tombs merged into water. Even worse, animals that lived in the Yangtze, taking the Chinese sturgeon as an example, couldn’t finish their routine in their reproduction cycle. They are going to extinct.

Such tragedies could be avoided before we start. But we lost the chance. We have to remedy it now with a practical plan. The government has to put its eyes on environmental protection. Whereas our descendants have no chance to see the clean Sun and breathe fresh air anymore.



a learner in the process

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