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The Loess Plateau Rehabilitation Project

Loess Plateau Rehabilitation Project is not working in the west, it only worked in China, because in the west there is private ownership of the land.
It is not only ancient examples like Dujiangyan or the DDJ I want to tell you that today China has taken a lead we are very proud of China for the leader is taking in the Paris Climate Change and for Xi Jinping in taking this very seriously indeed But there are examples more recent than Dujiangyan which we want to show you which comes from China’s corporation with international organizations such as World Bank It is an extraordinary example and we have gone to great trouble to look at it that took place for 10 years from 1995 to 2005 It is called Loess Plateau Rehabilitation Project Now the Loess Plateau is part of the Yellow Earth which has been terribly eroded by thousands of years of exploitation Chinese government realized something had to be done because the land has become eroded It is impossible to grow anything on it or even to keep sheep and goats People are starving there So the Chinese government backed by a loan from the World Bank, $500,000,000 took on this large region in order to be rehabilitated Now they took advice from international experts They had the money but they did not have the expertise So they imported it Very wise What did the international experts say They said we had been to dessert places before in Middle East and what we discover there is if we keep the animals out of the dessert without even watering it grass will grow plants will come back It is humans who have reduced this to dessert it is not just weather conditions So here in the Shanxi core of Yellow Earth region the land they divided by fencing it they gave the farmers half the land They said you can exploit this land you can grow things on it for yourself The other half we will going to let alone and we are going to fence it off no one is going into it no animals are going to it And we will see what happens And when the ecological land was left alone it was thriving But the farmers were not happy They said we could make more money if we go into that land and we actually plant something And the World Bank said you are not to touch it we will pay you not to touch it And we will pay you to build terraces on the economic land and plant apple trees there
When they left alone the land for 5, 10 years it was completely transformed The land area is very large the land area of Belgium is only 10% of this large region And although the local farmers want to continue agriculture the PRC was able to actually not persuade them but actually force them not to do this This is why this experiment is not working in the west it only worked in China because in the west there is private ownership of the land and they can take law cases and say you can not tell me to leave my land alone if I want to planted it.
But in China land belongs to the government so they can fence it off and say you are not to touch it And that is one reason why it is so successful here And they employed the farmers to build fences and terraces to cut grasses on ecological land as it grew and give it to the animals who were inside fences sheep and goats lose devastated landscape they even eat the bark the trees when they are hungry But here the overgrazing was prevented in order to let nature heal And here is the Loess Plateau before You can see the huge cliffs that rain water has carved here you can see the soil has eroded it is going down to the river and dammed it up The dams would not work because there are so much soil going to the river So it was a disaster people could not live on that land you wonder how anyone could survive here Here is ten years later Look that Just left alone and the plain has turned green And as it turns green it absorbs brings down more water absorbs more water More slowly, things grow and again give that moisture to the air In 10 years the place was transformed with work by doing this by letting nature alone And it just goes to show that rainfall has skyrocketed, green is everywhere and farmers are growing apples Rain, instead of reaching the Yellow River in a few hours now takes 30 days to get down to the river And it is not full of silt and would not dam up the river any more Birds and insects have come back and yellow-earth erosion which is a curse of the yellow earth because it is very friable it is very easily melted into rain has reduced to near zero Most important it is farmers their farm income has gone up 4 times because they sell their apples now in the market And they are happy and prosperous even though they resisted this experiment from the very beginning.
So it goes to show that in sense of the Taoist’s principle does work so far as if you leave the nature alone and contain its exploitation that it will return to its usual point

Today, the Daoist principle still works in China. Loess Plateau Rehabilitation Project is a great attempt started recently. This experiment is not working in the West, it only worked in China, because in the West there is private ownership of the land and they can take law cases and say ‘you cannot tell me to leave my land alone if I want to plant it’. It works only in a country where Daoism is still influential.

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Taoism and Western Culture

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