Chinese Enterprises Help Curb Sandstorms in Beijing

The China CITIC Group, a leading Chinese investment giant, has registered in the Green China Foundation (GCF) to invest in projects to fight sandstorms threatening Beijing.

The CITIC Group had signed an agreement with the local government of Xuanhua County in China's northern province of Hebei, promising to treat a 666.7 hectares of desertified land in Huangyangtan, Xuanghua, over three years, GCF official Shan Shaoxing said.

The Huangyangtan was a highly desertified area that was one of the major sources of sandstorms in Beijing, bringing approximately 650,000 tons of sand to the city annually, Shan said.

The project of the Huangyangtan, part of China's desertification-control campaign, includes a decade-long forest shelter belt project in northwestern, northern and northeastern regions, and a new afforestation program to shelter the Beijing-Tianjin area from sandstorms.

The two projects are vital to national desertification-control campaign since they cover more than 85 percent of the desertified land in China, Shan said.

"We are pleased to see enterprises participating in the anti-desertification campaign, not only because they will bring badly-needed money to the state-funded campaign, but also because their participation will raise public awareness of the issue," said Shan.

China has set a target to basically control the expansion of desertified land by 2010 and establish a shelter ecosystem in desert areas by 2050.

The CITIC Group has poured four million yuan (500,000 US dollars) into the Huangyangtan project, treating about 533.3 hectares of desertified land, according to GCF statistics.



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