The deserts in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
have been driven back over the last eight years thanks to increased
afforestation, resulting in less sandstorms in the region, a senior
official said Wednesday.
Yang Jing, chairman of the autonomous region said that Inner
Mongolia's forest coverage had increased to 17.6 percent last year
from 14.8 percent in 1999 and the area of land affected by
desertification had shrunk by more than two million hectares.
"Sandstorms occurring in Inner Mongolia have been brought under
control, which has also helped to improve the environment in
Beijing and Tianjin," he said.
Chu Bo, the region's Party chief, said the government had
strictly controlled the number of livestock raised on grassland and
put them into farms.
Only 30 percent of livestock are now raised on the grasslands,
Chu said herdsmen and farmers had been relocated from the
grasslands and encouraged to work in the industrial and service
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. With an area of 1.18 million
square kilometers, it covers 12 percent of China's territory and is
the third largest Chinese region in terms of area. Its population
was 23.86 million at the end of 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2007)