Reforestation and sand storms (Google / Ecns.cn /CNTV)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

http://www.ecns.cn/2014/06-18/119656.shtml

Reforestation efforts beat back the desert near Beijing

CNTV Web Editor: Li Yan

Tuesday marks the UN’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. China has been at the forefront of this battle, as it looks to reverse desertification across the country, and reduce sandy and dusty weather from affecting large cities.

According to China’s state forestry administration, measurable progress has been made. For only the second time in 14 years, Beijing was free of sandstorms this spring thanks to a campaign that reduced sandy-dusty weather in the capital and neighbouring Tianjin.

The first phase of the project lasted from 2000 to 2012, as the government planted some 7.5 million hectares of trees. The second phase of the reforestation project is still underway.

Authorities say, in the coming few years, more campaigns will be launched in China’s Northwest regions, which contain 57 percent of the country’s deserts.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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