China struggles to prevent desertification from encroaching on valuable land
Officials call desertification the 'greatest challenge of our generation'
While the nation of China makes bold strides in transforming untapped land into bustling areas of commerce, the threat of desertification - where large strips of land became fallow and unable to sustain vegetation, have become "the greatest challenge of our generation," according to China's Minister of Forestry Zhao Shucong.
The Gobi Desert in central China in particular gobbles up 3,600 square kilometers of grassland annually. Powerful sandstorms are rife in the area, and farmers are robbed of their livelihood. China's desertification even affects neighboring countries such as Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
"It is no longer sufficient to provide training and technical guidance that does not meet the basic needs of the poor," Zhao said. "Instead, we must understand that many of the causes of desertification are brought about by economic hardship . and the need to make ends meet."
The United Nation's Luc Gnacadja, the executive secretary of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification praised the Chinese government's efforts to support poor farmers, and its effectiveness in curbing desertification.
"By assisting farmers to erect tree shelter-belts, the rural poor have been able to farm in areas where commercial food production was not viable. These innovations have enabled China to address many challenges at once, and are, at least, part of the reason China has lifted so many people out of poverty and hunger."
China, he says is an example of "huge untapped potential" for the 167 other countries suffering the effects of desertification to "make land restoration a viable business.
"It is fair to say that China has the right vision, the political will and is moving in the right direction. This is how you win a fight," Gnacadja said.
China has often been seen as a "global bad guy" when it comes to climate change. The Asian giant is responsible for massive carbon emissions. Desertification has affected about 400 million Chinese people in recent decades.
The Gobi desert in central China in particular gobbles up 3,600 square kilometers of grassland annually. Powerful sandstorms are rife in the area, and farmers are robbed of their livelihood. China's desertification even affects neighboring countries such as Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
There is hope -- innovative methods to halt arable land from being degraded and to rejuvenate desert have been effective in decreasing desertification, State Forestry Administration statistics show.
The "Green Wall of China," the largest ecological project ever undertaken by authorities was launched in 1978, aims to increase human-made tree cover from five per cent to 15 percent of the country's vast landmass. These forests are envisioned to stretch across four million square kilometer of the country's north by the year 2050.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: China, desertification, revitalizing, farmlands, Gobi Desert
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Asia Pacific News
- Savage and Deadly, Cyclone Mahasen batters Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, moves into India
- Indian families go to drastic measures to protect daughters from rape
- Organ Trafficking: Indian family says their young daughter was killed for organ harvesting
- NK's Kim Jong-Un appoints THIRD army chief in less than two years
- Astonishing miracle in the heinous Bangladesh building collapse: 'God is so merciful!'
- Children as young as five years old forced to work in India's coal mines
- China deals major financial blow to Kim Jong Un
- Five killed in sharp, violent volcanic eruption in the Philippines
- World's most bizzare border dispute baffles Asian nuclear superpowers
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?