Renting out rooms in her nearly deserted farmhouses in a rural part of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, earned Wu Cuiyun more than 20,000 yuan ($3,100) last year, supplementing her income from farming.
She rented out three rooms in the farmhouses in Dongshukeng village, Chun'an county, to Chun'an Liangshan (Two Mountains) Ecological Resources Management, also known as Liangshan Bank, a company that brought together local government departments, enterprises and individuals to establish a management platform for environmental resources including mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes, grassland, idle rural housing and vacant village property.
Chun'an is famous for its Qiandao Lake, a tourism attraction that features abundant fishing resources and spectacular views.
Dongshukeng village, in Wenchang town, used to be an underdeveloped village, but thanks to Liangshan Bank it has been transformed into a hot tourist attraction, featuring superb natural surroundings and leisure tourism.
Based on its unique natural resources, Dongshukeng village has developed a new business model of "living plus health". Farmers can earn 600 to 1,100 yuan a month from renting out a room, and the model has encouraged eight villagers to return to Dongshukeng.
"As President Xi Jinping has pointed out, lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets," said Huang Haifeng, Party secretary of Chun'an county. "The fishing and tourism industries in Chun'an can bring local people invaluable assets."
Chun'an has rich ecological resources, with its gross ecosystem product reaching 244 billion yuan by the end of September, according to data from the Zhejiang Provincial Development and Planning Institute.
In 2019, the economic value of the county's fisheries exceeded 1 billion yuan, helping the value of its catering, tourism and agricultural products top 5 billion yuan.
"The fisheries sector in Qiandao Lake, aside from generating huge business income, can also generate thousands of yuan of tourism revenue for our company every year," said Fang Liang, chairman of Qiandao Lake Fishing Culture and Tourism.
Liangshan Bank has launched 396 environmental-related business programs in nine categories, including 143 vacant properties and 100 rural houses, a Chun'an official told a conference in Hangzhou on Jan 8.
Cai Jingwen and Wang Youxi contributed to this story.