LHASA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- To conserve the ecosystem while eradicating poverty, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region hired 309,000 farmers and herders as forest rangers in 2018, bringing the total number of people engaged in environmental protection to 667,000.
Average annual subsidies in the jobs increased to 3,500 yuan (522 U.S. dollars), according to the regional department of ecology and environment.
Last year, Tibet invested 10.7 billion yuan in environmental protection funds, with 74,133 hectares of trees planted and forest coverage rising to 12.14 percent.
The region also invested 100 million yuan in enhancing the ecology along the upper reaches of the Yangtze, China's longest river.
"Protecting the forests is equal to protecting our homeland," said a local Tibetan forest ranger.
The implementation of a series of measures contributed to environmental protection, making Tibet one of the areas with the best ecological environment in the world, authorities said.