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Rural China Goes Green 中国农村走向绿色环保








Eco-friendly technology shows great potential … in the long run  环保科技日久见真章


This small village on the Zouma River – inside the municipal boundaries of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province – is the site of a fascinating effort to fight one of China’s biggest problems: the dangerous levels of pollution in its rivers and streams.




“In the last 30 years, China’s economic miracle has helped pull millions from poverty, but has put tremendous pressure on its esosystems,” said Ma Jun, whose 1999 book China’s Water Crisis has been compared to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. “Sixty percent of our rivers are polluted,” and “300 million rural residents have no clean drinking water.”




China’s leadership has recognized the problem and adopted new regulations on industrial and agricultural pollution. Some government officials, [in order] to meet the new standards, may support Chinese nongovernmental organizations that work to clean up the environment. And that’s how I came to be hurtling down a country road to look at a project run by the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association, or CURA, which works to persuade the public of the need to save the rivers.




Raising awareness, providing solutions  提升意识,提供解决之道


“Half of our problem is agricultural pollution,” said Tian Jun, CURA’s energetic general secretary, who formerly worked for the government on projects to treat two terribly polluted rivers running through Chengdu. Despite progress, officials faced a continuing problem of runoff from chemical pesticide used by farmers living upstream from Chengdu.




So Tian helped form CURA to try to strengthen environmental awareness in the rural communities living on waterways that feed the city’s rivers. The group received support from Chengdu mayor and about $14,000 in seed money contributed by local real estate developers who didn’t want Chengdu’s rivers to be smelly. (It now receives support from other individual donors, a Hong Kong NGO and the local government.)




More Information

municipal [mjuˋnɪsəp!] adj. 市政的

nongovernmental organization: 非政府组织

persuade [pɚˋswed] v. 说服

seed money 用来吸引更多资金的种子基金;创业基金

smelly [ˋsmɛlɪ] adj. 有使人难受的气味的;臭的








Earth-friendly ideals  环保理想


The group focused on Anlong and two adjacent villages, which form a collection of whitewashed bungalows dispersed among trees and riverside farmland. Their goal: to end the farmers’ “addiction” to chemical fertilizers and encourage organic farming. The going was rough: 100 families (out of 1,000 in a three-village cluster) are now using biogas, but only four of the 20 families who tried organic farming are still committed to it. The reason: Organic farming is more labor-intensive, and the land takes three to five years to recover from chemical fertilizers, meaning farmers’ income drop in the short term.




Success story  成功案例


But conversations with the organic farmers give insights into rural life and values. In the Gao family, daughter Qing Rong, who returned home after 10 years as a migrant factory worker, says her new work gives her “more dignity.”




Her brother, Gao Hai, a former disc jockey in Shanghai, cooked up an organic feast for journalists from the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies’ International Reporting Project: several varieties of greens, celery with vegetarian “pork,” potato puree, squash, long green beans and luscious tea made with lemongrass and peppermint – all picked that day.




When asked whether she minded earning less, the Gaos’ mother, Li Zhilan, responded: “We don’t think about this. We think organic food is good for us to eat, good for the soil, and good for the people who eat what we grow.”




And the Gaos’ income is increasing: They deliver their organic produce directly to 150 families in the city, in a van labeled with huge Chinese characters that read: “No chemical fertilizers or pesticides, everything is healthy.” If Chengdu starts a farmers’ market or its trendy restaurants go organic, demand could increase.




Tian Jun hopes CURA can promote this model to other areas and develop a “river protection belt.” Officials from other towns have already come to examine the project.




by Trudy Rubin


Vocabulary Focus

in the long run: 最后 a long time in the future

fascinating: [ˋfæsn͵etɪŋ] adj. 迷人的,吸引人的 extremely interesting

hurtle: [ˋhɝt!] v. 飞驰 to move very fast, especially in what seems a dangerous way

runoff [ˋrʌn͵ɔf] n. (溪)溢流 the excess liquid that was not absorbed by the ground

adjacent: [əˋdʒesənt] adj. 毗连的,邻接的 very near, next to or touching

bungalow: [ˋbʌŋgə͵lo] n.(屋前或周围有平台的)平房,小屋 a house that has only one story or level

luscious: [ˋlʌʃəs] adj. 甘美多汁的;美味的 having a pleasant and sweet taste


More Information

whitewashed [ˋhwaɪt͵wɑʃt] adj. 用石灰水粉刷的

rough: [rʌf] adj. 难受的,艰难的 full of hardship or trials

biogas [ˈbaɪoˌɡæs] n. 沼气

disc jockey [ˋdʒɑkɪ](电台)唱片音乐节目主持人

cook up: 快速做(饭等)to prepare (a meal), esp quickly

green [grin] n. 蔬菜

celery [ˋsɛlərɪ] n. 芹菜

puree [pjʊˋre] n. 煮烂过滤或制浆的食物;浓汤

squash [skwɑʃ] n. 南瓜属植物;南瓜

lemongrass: [ˋlɛməŋgræs] n. 柠檬草,香茅



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