Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Beijing, Tianjin to Build Mammoth Eco-rings
A huge eco-shield composed of five rings of trees and grassland is to be built to protect Beijing and Tianjin from the annual sandstorms in the coming 10 years. Upon its completion, Beijing, Tianjin and China's northern provinces at large, are expected to find a reinforced shelter against the wiping annual sand gales.
A huge eco-shield composed of five rings of trees and grassland is to be built to protect Beijing and Tianjin from the annual sandstorms in the coming 10 years.
According to the forestry department of north China's Hebei Province, the gigantic green shield will be an ambitious undertaking, involving bringing deserts under control, returning vast expanse of farmland to forestry and grass land, soil and water conservation, afforestation, and protection of forest resources and nature reserves.
All this work will need an investment of about 22 billion yuan (US$2.66 billion).
Beijing and Tianjin, both landlocked within Hebei, pin their hope for taming the increasingly troublesome sandstorms mainly on the sand control of their neighbor Hebei, where the strong spring wind muster most of its ammunition of sand and dust every year.
So far, Hebei is facing an ever-advancing desert land with a size of 14.5 per cent of the province's land area. Of its 149 counties or towns, 114 are watching the dunes hanging up outside their doorway.
In Zhangjiakou and Chengde - two cities in Hebei - and the lower reaches of the Yongding River are three largest deserts, the arch-culprits foddering sand and dust to the annual spring gale battering Beijing and Tianjin.
To make way for the green shield, Zhangjiakou and Chengde will have to turn their 573,333 hectares of farming land in 24 counties or towns to forestry plots.
Meanwhile, 573,333 hectares of barren hills and wasteland will have to be afforested, over 1.5 million hectares of forestland built, 2.9 million hectares of land greened, and over 4 million hectares of land along the river courses lined with trees and grass.
Upon the completion of the eco-shield, Beijing, Tianjin and China's northern provinces at large, are expected to find a reinforced shelter against the wiping annual sand gales.