Timberland contributed to the planting of two million trees

Photo credit: Timberland

Timberland Plants Two Millionth Tree in China’s Horqin Desert as Part of Its Commitment to Protect The Outdoors

TONGLIAO, China, Sept. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland today marked the planting of a total of two million trees in the Horqin Desert, a significant milestone in its ongoing program to tackle desertification in Inner Mongolia. This achievement is a key part of the company’s CSR efforts in Asia, and further demonstrates its continued commitment to protect, create and restore the outdoors and support the communities in which it operates.

In 2001, inspired by the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability, one employee suggested that Timberland play a role in reforesting the Horqin Desert to help tackle the root cause of the sandstorms in her home country of Japan. As a result, Timberland formed a partnership with Green Network, a Japan-based non-profit organization. Fourteen years later, Timberland has contributed more than JPY 120 million (about CNY 6 million at current exchange rates) and 291 days of employee time to support the reforestation project.

“As an outdoor lifestyle brand, protecting and creating a more sustainable environment is not just a nice to have – it makes good business sense. That’s why we’re committed to the responsible design and manufacture of all our products, as well as making the places where we live and work more sustainable,” said John Gearing, Vice President and Managing Director of Timberland & Sportswear, Asia Pacific. “Today’s major achievement of planting two million trees in Horqin signifies our continued commitment to protect the outdoors, not just in the short term, but for future generations.”

Read the full article: The Jakarta Post

Where there is desert, there’s poverty

Photo credit: BEIJING REVIEW

Desert willows planted by local farmers have effectively stopped sand movement in Hobq Desert (XINHUA)

Taming the Desert

Efforts to reverse desertification and land degradation in Inner Mongolia offer a template for further exploration

By Jacques Fourrier

In 2000, throughout March and April, Beijing was engulfed in one of the worst spell of sandstorms in history. It was at that time that many Chinese people became acutely aware of the threat of worsening land degradation in the country’s north. Fifteen years later, however, the situation has dramatically improved. In this process, a substantial number of strategies to tackle desertification have been implemented in China, some of which began as far back as 1977 when the First UN Conference on Desertification was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

In his opening address at the Fifth Kubuqi International Desert Forum held in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on July 28-29, Zhang Jianlong, head of China’s State Forestry Administration, said, “As one of the countries in the world most severely hit by desertification, China incurred an annual direct economic loss of more than 54 billion yuan ($8.7 billion), with more than 400 million of its people being affected.”

Deserts cover almost 20 percent of China’s territory, and the areas threatened by desertification amount to over 25 percent of the country’s total landmass. The State Council, China’s cabinet, has announced a plan starting that by 2020, over half of the country’s land affected by desertification, totaling 10 million hectares, would be rehabilitated.

Human activities, such as overgrazing, overplanting and deforestation, combined with natural processes, are the main causes of desertification and land degradation. Some of China’s countermeasures have had impressive results and Hobq Desert in Inner Mongolia appears to be a highly regarded reference at home and abroad.

Hobq experiment

Wang Wenbiao, the 56-year-old President of the private Elion Resources Group in Inner Mongolia, has always had a skin-deep awareness of the curse of desertification in Hobq Desert, a large swathe of dry land in the northern edge of the Ordos Plateau. “I come from a family of farmers—my parents, my grandparents were farmers,” he explained. “I always tell people that where there is desert, there’s poverty, and when there is poverty, there is desert.”

Read the full article: BEIJING REVIEW

Planting One Million Trees

Photo credit: Humboldt Sentinel

From Roots to Shoots: Creating Change in a Tough Environment

by Jonah Kessel


In 2007 a bright-eyed bunch of volunteers in a nascent NGO called Shanghai Roots & Shoots had a big dream to help fight desertification in China.  Their dream:  to plant one million trees on the edge of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert in China.

China’s deserts have been growing for many years, and in response, the government’s Great Green Wall Program planted trees across China.  However, it was often done in places where tree planting wasn’t appropriate due to environmental conditions and a lack of available ground water.  Many of these trees simply weren’t taken care of because a lack of financial incentives led farmers to simply drop them in the sand and leave.

Shanghai Roots & Shoots had a different plan.

Not only was it to plant more trees but to successfully take care of them, and educating the communities around the desert to their potential benefits. Experts helped the NGO identify areas where ground water was available, giving the trees their best chance of survival.

This was the The Million Tree Project.

The aim was to raise community awareness of the Earth’s precious environment, focusing on steps individuals can take to lessen their negative impact on the natural world.

The project gave individuals and organizations an opportunity for fighting global warming by planting oxygen-producing trees. It also encompassed the local population becoming involved in planting, maintaining, and monitoring the trees.

The Million Tree Project was designed to both improve the ecological and humanitarian conditions of lnner Mongolia.  It was a big idea, a big goal, and a tremendous undertaking in the Gobi desert.

Read the full article: Humboldt Sentinel

Irreversible desertification by groundwater sapping

Photo credit: WVC 1997-07

Erosion gullies and mountain reforestation in Zonghe He, Lanzhou region, Inner Mongolia, P.R. China

(TC-Dialogue Project 1995-1999)

Groundwater sapping as the cause of irreversible desertification of Hunshandake Sandy Lands, Inner Mongolia, northern China

  1. Xiaoping Yang,
  2. Louis A. Scuderi,
  3. Xulong Wang,
  4. Louis J. Scuderi,
  5. Deguo Zhang,
  6. Hongwei Li,
  7. Steven Forman,
  8. Qinghai Xu,
  9. Ruichang Wang,
  10. Weiwen Huang, and
  11. Shixia Yang
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