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Anti-Desertification Law to Take Effect

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, is to formulate an anti-desertification law to better maintain the country's bio-safety.

Qu Geping, chairman of the NPC Environment and Resources Protection Committee (ERPC) made a report Monday on relevant issues concerning the draft law at the 20th meeting of the 9th NPC Standing Committee.

Qu said, China has witnessed the desertification of some 100, 000 square kilometers since the 1950s. The country's desert has been expanding at an annual rate of 2,460 square kilometers from 1985 to 1995.

The problem of desert expansion became more of a problem after 1995. China's northern region was hit by 13 sandstorms last spring and many locations suffered from the negative effects of desertification, according to Qu.

China is one of the countries most seriously affected by desert expansion. Qu attributed the serious desertification to over- grazing by cattle and sheep and other unreasonable ways the country's natural resources have been exploited.

The draft anti-desertification law features some strict measures and clearly stipulates the responsibilities of governments at all levels to combat desert expansion.

(Xinhua 02/26/2001)

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