The government of Hainan has launched a large-scale project to protect biodiversity in the coastal area, Xinhua News Agency reported.
According to the agency, the project involves restoring water bodies, cleaning river mouths, coastlines and shorelines, planting forests, demolishing illegal structures in the conservation area and more.
The coastline of the entire Hainan province is about 1,900 kilometers long, an area that is home to hundreds of species of living organisms, as Xinhua notes. For example, efforts to restore the ecosystem in Dongzhaigang Nature Reserve, which is located 30 km from Haikou and covers about 2,500 hectares, have been underway for many years: ecologists have planted endangered trees, administration officials have suspended operations or organized relocation of businesses operating in the area, and the tourism industry in the region was brought to order.
The authorities have also closed the quarries operating in the area, closed landfills, halted illegal hydraulic work to extend the shoreline, and forced violators to restore the coastline to its original condition.
According to the agency, the regional government relocated rainforest farmers and dismantled hydroelectric power plants installed on mountain rivers. "Despite the short-term loss of GDP, this has protected our vast treasure trove of living creatures," Xinhua quoted Liu Qiang, deputy head of the Hainan Forestry Administration, as pointing out that Hainan Rainforest National Park is home to many flora and fauna in China, among which 278 species are under state protection.
The restoration of the natural habitat has also had a beneficial effect on the inhabitants of coastal waters. In recent years, the Chinese dolphin (Sousa chinensis) and whale shark (Rhincodon typus), which are critically endangered, have been appearing in Hainan's coastal waters with more frequency, the agency wrote.