Hongxia REN – China

She is Laureate for the Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life.

Hongxia REN - China.JPG

Hongxia REN – China

She works for reforestation.

Early 2000, the Chinese government issued a policy accelerating the development of deserted mountains, wild slopes, waste- and swampland; especially encouraging civil servants to take up the challenge of reforesting and developing these areas. Ren Hongxia (40), who was born and brought up in rural areas, was familiar with the living conditions of rural women in such regions. With great courage, she contracted to develop 313 hectares (over 1200 acres) of a bald mountain – the first woman civil servant to accept such a challenge. The mountain she contracted to reforest was in a remote area with no roads or electricity. People and animals used water from the same ponds. Villages were isolated and the standard of living was extremely low.

Hongxia Ren started by organizing the people to build a 17 km road, one pump station for water and 42 wells. She then organized 200 young people to plant over a million trees. There are now 1.19 million trees, including 253 hectares of ecological forest (i.e. trees planted essentially to stabilize and regenerate the landscape) and 60 hectares planted mainly with fruit trees of different varieties (peach, apricot, walnut, pear, etc). She met major disasters with equanimity and courage, such as the 2000- 2001 drought, which almost wiped out the project right at the onset. But the area is now covered with trees, and an aging, balding mountain is now a source of great activity and significant income.

Just as important, Hongxia Ren helped women significantly increase their income. Through her example, she became a role model for women who have come out of their families to start their own businesses in areas as varied as transportation and processing of local produce.

To read all about Hongxia REN in China, go to the Rural life prize and click on the name.

Sorry, I can not get other informations in english about Hongxia REN, living in China.

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