China makes headway in combating desertification

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China has made great strides in the prevention and control of desertification, with up to 8.8 million hectares of its desertified areas having been turned into green land since 2016. This is according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA).

In so doing, China has completed 88 percent of the target of rehabilitating 10 million hectares of desertified land, or more than half of its reclaimable deserts in the 2016-2020 period. So said the NFGA on the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which falls on June 17 each year.

The area of desertified land in the country shrinks by an annual average of 2,424 square km, while that of sandy land decreases by an annual average of 1,980 square km. This indicates a reversal from the years before 2000, when desertified land was increasing, official data showed.

China's total area of sandy land has decreased by 9,902 square km compared with the level in 2009, according to the NFGA. Meanwhile, the occurrences of dusty weather nationwide are decreasing by 20.3 percent annually.

China's fight against desertification has been pushed ahead, together with its effort to reduce poverty, with eco-friendly industries being developed in accordance with the conditions of sandy and desertified areas.

Sun Guoji, an official with the NFGA, said China will next focus on combating desertification in border areas, in major source areas of the dusty weather, as well as in river basins, to consolidate its achievements.

Work will also be done to set the new desertification control target for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), strengthen international cooperation, and fulfill China's obligations under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said Sun.

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