Rich Natural Resources
Jilin Province is located in the world famous black soil belt. The surface soil organic matter content is 3% to 6% and even up to above 15%. The province's arable land is 7.03 million hectares, accounting for about 30% of the province's total land area and ranking the ninth place nationwide. Black soil area hit about 1.1 million hectares and arable black soil is about 832,000 hectares, accounting for 15.6% of the province's total arable land. The grain yield in black soil accounts for more than half of the province's total. Compared with the country, total land area, arable land and basic farmland of Jilin Province account for around 2%, 4.4% and 4.4% of the national total, respectively. The protection ratio of basic farmland hits 86.9%, which is basically in line with other key grain-growing provinces. Per capita arable land is 3.05 mu, more than twice the national average and roughly equal to the world's average.
Jilin Province has abundant forest resources, and is one of the key forestry provinces in China. The province has forestry land area of 9.299 million hectares, forest land area of 8.288 million hectares, and a total reserve of 956.13 million cubic meters. The forest coverage reaches 43.8%. Changbai Mountain, known as "Changbai forest sea", is one of China's six major forest areas, which has a wide range of rare trees such as Korean pine, oak tree, ash, northeast China ash and Phellodendron amurense. "Changbai Pine", a rare tree peculiar to Changbai Mountain, is called "Beauty Pine" for its straight trunk, bright bark and charming shape, and is included in the "National Key Protected Wild Plants" promulgated by State Council in 1999. Mineral Resources
The eastern Changbai Mountain, located at the core area of Liaodong-Jinan metallogenic belt, is one of 16 key metallogenic belts in China, with abundant mineral resources. Now 158 kinds of minerals are founded, accounting for 66.6% of the national total, 237 kinds. Among them, there are 115 kinds of minerals (including sub-varieties) with proven reserves. Oil shale, molybdenum, nickel, magnesium, grammite, diatomaceous earth, bentonite, volcanic cinder, haydite shale and mineral water are superior mineral resources in Jilin Province. The eastern Changbai Mountain is a centralized area of mineral water resources, with extremely abundant reserves. It is known as one of the world top three concentrative places of mineral water, enjoying equal popularity as much as the Alps and North Caucasus. Songliao Basin, in the middle west of Jilin Province, is rated as one of national eleven key oil-bearing basins.
Jilin Province is one of eight major pastoral areas in China. The whole province has grassland area of 10.37 million hectares, accounting for around 3.6% of the province's land area. In this region, the available area reaches over 70% of the province's grassland area, mainly in the eastern mountains and hills and western grasslands. Eastern grasslands are scattered with high yield of grass; while western grasslands are vast and concentrated with good-quality grass, especially famous for abounding guineagrass, which is an important base for the development of animal husbandry. In recent years, Jilin Province has carried out ecological grass construction in 13 western counties (county-level cities, districts) to strengthen ecological protection for grassland and reduce the bearing pressure on grassland, so that the grassland vegetation has been significantly restored.
Jilin Province is one of provinces with relatively diversified wetlands in China. The province's wetland area is 1.728 million mu, accounting for 9.2% of the province's total area. The wetland areas are mainly distributed at Baicheng and Songyuan area, taking up an area of 785,000 hectares, or 45.4% of the province's total wetland area, including natural wetland area of 577,000 hectares, accounting for 56.2% of the province’s total area of natural wetland. There are six national key wetlands (Xianghai National Nature Reserve, Momoge National Nature Reserve, Chagan Lake National Natural Reserve, Dabusu National Natural Reserve, Moon Lake National Natural Reserve and Moors National Natural Reserve), of which Xianghai and Momoge Wetlands have been included in the list of wetlands of international importance.
Jilin Province is abundant in rivers and located on the upper and middle stream of the main rivers of the northeast region. Volcanic cones around Changbai Mountain Tianchi are the cradle of the Songhua, Yalu and Tumen rivers, so it is widely known as "the source of three rivers". The province has river and lake area of 265,500 hectares and 1,648 rivers and streams which have a drainage area of more than 20 square kilometers, respectively belonging to such five major river systems as Songhua River, Liao River, Yalu River, Tumen River and Suifen River. The province has 1,397 lakes with a water area of more than 0.067 square kilometers, which are mainly divided into three types – crater lake, fluvial lake and inland lake. Eastern mountain areas have intensive river network and large amount of surface runoff, but with less groundwater, while western plains have rich groundwater. Jilin Province has 98% of water resources in the eastern mountain areas.
Jilin Province boasts the well-developed and diversified microorganism population. There are 446 kinds of terrestrial wildlife having been identified, including 15 kinds of amphibious animal, 16 kinds of reptile, 335 kinds of bird and 80 kinds of beast, accounting for 17.69% of the country's total. Among them, birds account for 30.36% of the country's total. In Jilin Province, Siberian tiger, leopard, sika deer, oriental white stork, red-crowned crane and great bustard have an extremely important role in the rescue and protection of international endangered species. Siberian tiger comes within the wildlife under the national first class protection. There are only 450 Siberian tigers throughout the world, including 11-13 ones at forest areas of Changbai Mountain of Jilin Province; there are only more than 4,000 white storks in the world and more than 3,800 ones distributed in Jilin Province. Huichun City of Jilin Province has been honored the title "Hometown of China's Siberian Tigers" by China Wildlife Conservation Association.
Now there are 3,890 kinds of wild plant species, including over 270 kinds of lichen, over 350 kinds of moss, over 900 kinds of eumycetes, over 140 kinds of ferns, 30 kinds of gymnosperm and more than 2,200 kinds of angiosperm. Jilin Province is the main production area of (dried) delicacies from the mountains in northeast China and wild edible plants include bracken, vetch, fresh tender shoots, pine mushroom, black fungus, hedgehog hydnum as well as amur grape and hickory The eastern Changbai Mountain is rich in wildlife resources of medicinal plants, so it has been known as one of three northeast treasures in China.
Three Northeast Treasures
Jilin Province is famous for being the main producing area of "Northeast three treasures" - ginseng, marten and antler. Changbai Mountain ginseng is a precious medicinal material, and its shape resembles a human form, hence the name. As its ginsenosides I-VI and other active ingredients can nourish vitality, blood and tranquilization, it has a long medical history for 4,000 years in China. Jilin Province is China's largest production and export base of ginseng, whose ginseng production accounts for 80% of domestic output and more than 70% of the world. In 1981, a farmer of Beigang Village, Fusong County dug a large wild ginseng which is 160 years old, 287.5 grams in weight and 79.5 cm long, known as the king of wild ginseng, and is kept as a national treasure in Jilin Pavilion of Beijing's Great Hall of the People. Martes zibellina is an animal under first-grade state protection, as its fur is brown or grayish brown with white guard hairs in between, its cortex is tough and tensile, and its plush is gorgeous, delicate and thick, gentle and shiny, so it is called the crown of the fur. Antler is a precious medicinal material, and can replenish vital essence to benefit the marrow, nourish the blood to reinforce the kidney and strengthen tendons and bones. Jilin Province is also the hometown of sika deer, and its antler wine, deer's tail extract, deer foetus ointment and other deer-based products are favored by domestic and foreign customers.
Jilin Province boasts a broad range of energy resources and remains relatively abundant in new energy and renewable energy such as wind energy, biomass energy and solar energy.
The province's coal with recoverable deposits numbers 2.6 billion tons, of which recoverable reserve is 800 million tons. Up till now, totally 209 coal mines have a production capacity of 54.16 million tons/year (Recoverable for around 20 years). Petroleum that can be proven reaches 4.85 billion tons, including proven geological reserves of 1.45 billion tons. Natural gas that can be proven reaches 3.0512 trillion cubic meters, including proven geological reserves of 151.8 billion cubic meters. Oil shale with proven reserves hit 108 billion tons, ranking the top among the nation. Jilin Province takes pride in the technically developable resources of 5.1155 million kilowatt, potential developable wind resources of around 200 million kilowatt, and installed capacity of around 54 million kilowatt; development of biomass energy holds great promise, and biomass resources like crops and forestry residues are abundant; collectible resources of agricultural biomass reach 46.74 million tons/year and forestry residues hit 10 million tons/year; annual radiation of solar energy totals 5,051.5 MJ/m2; geothermy potential equals to 2.6 billion standard coal.
(Updated to July 14, 2015)