China treats 331 million mu of sandy land in 10 years: official data

China treats 331 million mu of sandy land in 10 years: official data

China treats 331 million mu of sandy land in 10 years: official data

A farmer unearths a water channel in a rice field in Daleng Town of Zhangwu County, Fuxin City, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, June 14, 2023. In 2021, local authorities promoted the transformation of sandy land along of the Liuhe River in Zhangwu in arable rice fields, achieving ecological and economic benefits. (Xinhua/Pan Yulong)

China has treated 331 million mu (22 million hectares) of sandy land in just over 10 years, with a closed and protected area of ​​27.08 million mu, and 53 percent of reversible sandy land has been effectively treated , according to the National Administration of Forests and Meadows. (NFGA) said Monday.

As the day marks the 30th World Desertification and Drought Day and the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said on Monday that China is the first country in the world to achieve net zero land. degradation and reduce both desertification and sandification, making an important contribution to the global goal of zero net land degradation by 2030.

According to the NFGA release, the forest and grassland vegetation in the project’s key areas has been effectively restored after a long period of management, and the key management areas have achieved a historic transformation from “sand that forces people to retreat” to “trees that force let the sand recede”. withdrawal.”

The Three Norths Shelterbelt Forest Program, a large-scale afforestation project in northwest, north and northeast China, has completed a total of 480 million mu of afforestation and the treatment of 1.28 billion mu of grassland degraded, with the rate of forest cover increasing. from 5.05% in 1978 to almost 14% until now.

The situation for sandy land has continued to improve, with a net reduction in the area of ​​sandy land nationally from an average annual expansion of 5.15 million mu at the end of the last century to a reduction of 10 million mu per year in present, suitable for release.

The degree of land desertification also continued to be reduced, with the proportion of heavy and extremely heavy falling from 74.1 percent in 2004 to 62.3 percent in 2019. Wind and sand hazards were effectively reduced, with the total amount of wind soil erosion in the eight major deserts and four major sandy areas decreasing by about 40% in 2019 compared to 2000.

An average of 9.2 sand and dust weather processes have occurred annually in the northern region over the past 10 years, showing a trend of decreasing number and weakening intensity, compared to an average of 12.5 per year during the same period of the last 30 years, according to release.

As the ecology of the sandy areas continued to improve, the agricultural land protection forest network has effectively protected 450 million mu of agricultural land, and the sandy areas annually produce 48 million tons of dried and fresh fruits, with a value of total annual output of 120 billion. yuan ($16 billion).

China has fulfilled its obligations under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, carried out and implemented a number of major environmental projects and promulgated the world’s first law to combat desertification, according to the statement.

China’s forest cover rate and forest stock volume have both increased for 40 consecutive years. It ranks the world’s first country in the growth of forest resources and afforestation area, and has contributed one-fourth of the world’s newly added green area, Lin said.

Lin added that China is actively creating synergy with the Great Green Wall of Africa and the Middle East Green Initiative through mechanisms including the China-Africa Cooperation Forum and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. The China-Arab International Research Center for Drought, Desertification and Land Degradation was established last year and the first batch of cooperative projects was launched.

The China-Mongolia Desertification Prevention and Control Cooperation Center, unveiled in Mongolia last year, is now supporting Mongolia in implementing its plan to plant one billion trees. Cooperation between China and other countries in combating desertification has made more countries greener, Lin said.

Lin added that China is ready to continue to share its experience in combating drought and desertification with all parties, intensify exchanges on sustainable land governance, and together make our world a beautiful place that enjoys harmony between nature and humanity.

Global Times