From TV title to national policy

Updated: 2014-01-21 09:59

By Sun Li in Fuzhou, Wang Kaihao in Hohhot, Cui Jia in Urumqi, Yan Yiqi in Hangzhou, and Palden Nyima in Lhasa (China Daily)

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Over the hills and far away


Medog county, in the southeast of the Tibet autonomous region, has the gentlest weather in Tibet, with the lowest average altitude in the region, annual rainfall of 3,000 millimeters and the best-protected natural environments in China.

Special geographical features have made the area famous as Jiangnan, or "south of the river", a name that describes the areas south of the Yangtze River, famous for their beautiful scenery. The area boasts fine weather, spectacular glaciers, waterfalls and the stunning Snow Mountains. As a result of long isolation from the outside world, the county's environment is unspoiled and clean, while the special culture and traditions make Medog a dream destination for visitors from across the globe.

In late October, a new highway was opened to replace the poor roads that helped to keep the county isolated.

"The highway will allow more visitors to come to Medog," said Danzen, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of Medog county.

The number of tourists has risen rapidly from an average of 5,000 between 2010 and 2012 to 20,000 in 2013, while the county's population is roughly 12,000.

"We don't have the capacity to receive so many tourists, so we plan to develop a mode of high-end ecotourism to limit visitor numbers and protect the local environment," said Danzen.

Another challenge the local authorities face is the potential theft and export of wood from the rich forests that cover more than 80 percent of the county.

"Since 2010, we have been asking the public to help us to watch the forests. Because we have a very small population and the human resources of the local government are insufficient, everyone in Medog has a responsibility to watch a certain area of forest. If they do their jobs well, we will reward them more than 1,000 yuan ($165) at the end of the year, but should anything unfortunate occur which can be directly attributed to the locals, we will impose a fine," Danzen said.

"So far, everything has gone quite well," he said.

Yang Yang