Situated on the edge of the Tengeri Desert, the Shapotou sand control project has been heralded as a miraculous achievement: 160,000 hectares of desert has been turned into green land.
A integration of desert and oasis in the Shapotou area in Zhongwei, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, August 25, 2006.
As a model area for sandstorm prevention and control project, Shapotou in Zhongwei, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, has been transformed from a sand-stricken area into a tourist hot spot.
The area has won world-wide recognition for its sand control efforts. In 1994, the Shapotou project was given the prestigious title of "Global 500" by the United Nations Environment Programme for its effectiveness in stemming desertification.
The sand control project started in 1958 when the Baotou-Lantou railway was completed to ensure the normal operation of the railway. After years of experiments, the technicians started to make 1m*1m square sheets with straws before putting them on the sand. They then grew plants that can endure extremely drought on the sheets.
Afterwards, they managed to get Yellow River water to the plants, greatly increasing the survival rates.
With years of efforts, the ecological environment of the area has been greatly improved. The region's experiences also set a good example for other areas as the nation is making every effort in fighting desertification.
China has 2.64 million square km of desert land, 97.58 percent of which lies within the seven western provinces or autonomous regions, such as Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Ningxia, statistics show.
According to a recent figure released by the the National Development and Reform Commission, the Chinese central government has invested more than 200 billion yuan (US$25 billion) to improve the environment in its western region in the last five years.
The central government will further push forward ecological construction in western regions in the coming years. Major projects will include the protection of wetland resource and the environment along the Yellow River, Xinhua news agency reported in its earlier report.
|Source:Chinadaily Editor: HuangFeng|