Inner Mongolia heals 44 million mu of desertification since 2000

Updated: 2017-01-23 (chinadaily.com.cn) Print

Since 2000, areas of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region affected by desertification have been reduced by more than 44 million mu (around 3 million hectares) and land affected by ‘sandification’ reduced to 18 million mu after years of control, according to the vice-president of the region, Wang Yuming, at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on Jan 22.

Wang identified that Inner Mongolia has a forest area of 43.98 million hectares, 21 percent of the land area, the largest in China. However, there are also five deserts and four areas of sand land in Inner Mongolia, totaling 609,200 square kilometers, with another 407,800 square kilometers suffering from sandification.

Wang summarized six effective measures that have taken by Inner Mongolia to contain the spread of desertification in the past 17 years.

First, strict grazing prohibitions have been implemented in key national ecological project areas, natural reserves, ecological migrants districts, wind-resistant areas, severe desertification areas, and eco-fragile regions. A new pasture-livestock balance was reached through grazing prohibition, and rotational and rest grazing.

Secondly, regulations, decisions, and over 260 policy documents have been created to institutionally support the prevention and control of desertification.

Third, the prevention and control of desertification led to long-term beneficial ecological constructions, such as the Beijing-Tianjin Sandstorm-Control Project, the Three-North Shelterbelt Program, Green for Grain Project and the Natural Forest Protection Project, amongst others. 

Fourth, Inner Mongolia created a group of leading enterprises in the forest and sand industry to provide working opportunities for farmers and herdsmen.

Fifth, support from scientific and technological achievements and advanced technology was sought and utilized. A system offering technical training to farmers and herdsmen was also established. 

Finally, wide and active participation among farmers, herdsmen and social forces provided sustainable change and exponential progress regarding sand control.