China’s desert-fighting Inner Mongolia fuels green drive

22nd January 2022, 17:18 GMT+11

HOHHOT, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) — Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, lying at the forefront of China’s fight against desertification, has been fueling its green drive.

Last year, the north China region planted 5.94 million mu (about 396,000 hectares) of trees and 16.67 million mu of grass, and treated 5.3 million mu of desertified and sandy land, according to the government work report delivered Friday at the sixth session of the 13th Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regional People’s Congress.

The region plans to raise its forest coverage to 23.5 percent and record a forest stock volume of 1.55 billion cubic meters by 2025. It also plans to raise its grassland vegetation coverage to about 45 percent during the period.

Inner Mongolia is home to several large deserts such as Badain Jaran, Tengger, Ulan Buh and Kubuqi. The region has 23.3 percent of China’s total areas of desertified land and 23.7 percent of the country’s total sandy land, respectively.

The autonomous region spans the vast northern territory of China and is an important ecological barrier in the country. It has always attached great importance to ecological construction and protection.

The autonomous region launched a series of major ecological projects, including a project turning marginal farmland into forests.

Meanwhile, commercial logging of natural forests in the region was also halted in a bid to help restore the ecosystem.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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

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