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Combating desertification in China

Photo credit: WANT CHINA TIMES

Desert-greening at the Kubuqi Desert in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, December 2012. (File photo/Xinhua)

Desertification fight begins to dust up in China

China has developed a new operating model to control desertification, which covers 1.73 million square kilometers and affects over a third of the country’s total population. The model will also help boost the livelihoods of farmers and businesses, the National Business Daily reported.

The government plans to utilize a public-private partnership (PPP) model used for the development of the Kubuqi Desert, China’s seventh-largest desert, for anti-desertification projects along the Silk Road Economic Belt during the 13th Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-2020), according to the report.

Chinese vice premier Wang Yang said July 28 at the Fifth Kubuqi International Desert Forum in Ordos, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, that the government will encourage the public, businesses and non-government organizations to help prevent soil depletion, or desertification, and reclaim land that has been damaged, compensating them for efforts in this area through market mechanisms and the PPP model, Wang said.

The Chinese government and the United Nations are exploring the PPP model for combating desertification.

Zhang Shigang, coordinator of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) China Office, said that the government, the UN and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have signed a letter of intent to strengthen collaboration to promote green investment along the proposed Belts utilizing the PPP model.

Read the full article: Want China Times

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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