A bird's-eye view of Huangshe village in Anji county, Huzhou [Photo/huzhou.gov.cn]
Anji, a mountainous county in East China's Zhejiang province, announced a pilot plan on April 27 to achieve sustainable economic development while maintaining a healthy environment.
"The Two Mountains Bank plan is essential to the development of a trade platform for environmental resources," said Zhou Jianzhong, deputy director of the development and reform bureau of Anji county.
The county, known as the birthplace of the "Two Mountains" Theory – which treats lucid waters and lush mountains as invaluable assets – has been raising villager incomes by promoting eco-agriculture and tourism.
In 2019, the village registered a gross economic income of 280 million yuan ($39.6 million), becoming a model for the comprehensive construction of a well-off society in rural Zhejiang.
However, turning environmental resources into economic dividends remains difficult due to the low efficiency, small scale, and scattered layout of such resources. They must be integrated with a centralized platform, according to the director.
The Two Mountains Bank plan will guide government departments, enterprises, and individuals to jointly establish a market-oriented management platform for environmental resources and offer value-added services for all participants.
The first step is to investigate, evaluate, and register all of the environmental resources in the county. By the end of 2020, a system combining resource lists and asset registration, protection, development, and monitoring is expected to be established, with digital tools including block chain and remote satellite sensing.
Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
Shangshu Village, one of the pioneers of the plan, has been accumulating small savings for large withdrawals. "Around 10 percent of our 100,000 mu of forests have been registered and put in deposits," said village chief Kang Xigang. "By adding them up, we can find bigger partners and generate more revenue."
According to the pilot plan, by 2022, the Two Mountains Bank will improve its services, management, and operation and create a national model that boosts the economy by relying on the environment.