The 154-Year-Old Litchi Tree in Bi Village Has Been Cut and Dug. Is the Construction Unit Suspected of Breaking the Law? | CBCGDF Concerned about the Destruction of Ancient Trees in Huangpu, Guangzhou

On July 9, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) Guangzhou volunteer visited the site again because he was thinking about the ancient litchi forest in Dakeng Mountain, Bi Village, Huangpu District, Guangzhou. Turned out, a 154-year-old ancient litchi tree sampled and identified by him has been dug away, leaving only an empty pit.

At the end of March, to find out how many trees there were in the ancient litchi forest, which is likely to be cut down in succession, the volunteers commissioned the Guangzhou Forestry and Garden Science Research Institute to conduct on-site identification at their own expense. Relevant experts sampled and identified 10 trees on site, including 7 litchi trees, 2 mango trees and 1 kapok tree.

All the trees identified in the sampling are within the scope of the old village reconstruction in Bi Village, Yunpu Street, Huangpu District and within the Dakeng Mountain plot, the Dakeng Mountain plot has previously been expropriated by the Guangzhou Development Zone Land Development Reserve Trading Center.

Volunteers said, “The expert identification method is the annual ring identification method.” It is currently determined that this ancient litchi tree, which has been dug away, is 154 years old. Before being felled or transplanted, the ancient litchi tree was 9 meters high, 76 cm in breast diameter, and the crown of the big tree reached 14 meters in all. Later, in the process of being cut or transplanted, its dense branches and dense leaves were cut off.

At present, the identification of ancient trees in this ancient litchi forest has not yet been completed, but the construction team has entered the site for construction in advance, causing damage to the ancient trees. The ancient litchi tree that was confirmed to be felled or removed was 76 cm in breast diameter and 154 years old. Last year, Guangzhou Forestry and Landscape Bureau announced that there are 351 trees with a tree diameter of more than 30 cm. Among these 351 trees, how many ancient trees are there?

Can relevant departments in Guangzhou stop construction on the site as soon as possible, and at the same time disclose the identification results of the ancient trees on the ground? Regarding the current incident of the destruction, excavation or removal of the ancient tree, and the alleged felling beyond the scope, etc., should the relevant units be held legally responsible?

Does the construction and development mean that the original natural ecology must be destroyed, especially when it comes to entering a large area of ancient litchi forests that are important for ecological protection? Are there any countermeasures, or better decisions? When making relevant decisions, have they publicly solicited opinions and suggestions from local communities and relevant environmental protection agencies?

It is recommended that the relevant departments of Guangzhou City stop the construction as soon as possible, to carry out background investigation and evaluation of the biodiversity of the ancient litchi forest that has been expropriated and hold related demonstrations/seminars. Because, if once causes the serious consequence which destroys the ecology, not only the ecology and the culture loses heavily, but also may involve the administrative procedure illegal and the construction unit illegal, the regret is late.

(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteers)

Original Chinese article:

By / Zhang Daqian Modified / Maggie

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