Northwest China's Gansu Province has invested 19.5 billion yuan (about 3.02 billion U.S. dollars) in the ecological restoration and the sustainable development of the Qilian Mountains since 2017, according to the provincial government.
The money has been used in areas including grassland protection, wetland protection, soil and water conservation, glacier protection as well as forest restoration and environmental management for the mining industry.
The Qilian Mountains is a major vast mountain range that spans the border of Gansu and Qinghai provinces, with an average altitude of over 4,000 meters. The range is an important water source of the Yellow River, China's second-longest river, and a key ecological shield in western China.
The ecological environment of the Qilian Mountains once suffered serious damage due to prominent problems such as over-exploitation of mineral resources, illegal construction and operation of hydropower facilities and excessive emissions by local enterprises.
The restoration projects have yielded fruitful results with the influence of human activities on the protected areas effectively controlled, and the damaged areas well-repaired, according to monitoring data of the water conservation and forest research institute of the Qilian Mountains.