China Matters animation team produced the animated video Our Hometown Baihualing (Baihua Ridge). In this video, a bird from Baihualing tells a story of local villagers living in harmony with nature and turning Baihualing into a popular bird watching resort in China.
Baihualing is located at the eastern foot of Gaoligong Mountain in Yunnan, at an altitude of about 1,400 meters. A total of 525 bird species have been spotted here, accounting for about 54.8% of the total recorded bird species in Yunnan Province. However, local people were not aware of the importance of ecological protection in the past. They made their lives by hunting birds and deforestation. They stayed in poverty and could barely afford food.
One day in November 1989, Hou Tiguo, a local villager met a Taiwanese couple who came to watch birds. They asked Hou to lead the way to find birds and gave him guide fee. Before leaving, the couple said, “Take care of these birds, and you can get more than that.” Inspired by that, the villagers in Baihualing started to build ponds to feed birds and work as forest rangers to protect the habitat of birds.
After that, Baihualing attracted attention at home and abroad. Biologists and photography fans flocked there. Local eco-tourism developed rapidly, and Baihualing has become known as “China’s 5A bird-watching scenic spot”. The economic income of Baihualing Village in 2020 was 34.8 million yuan, 15 times that of 1995.
Over the past 30 years, Baihualing villagers have blazed a successful trail to prosperity through ecological progress while maintaining harmony between man and nature.