Tree belt built along world's longest desert highway

The building of a highway which runs across Xinjiang's Taklamakan Desert, known as the "sea of death", itself is a world's miracle. The more amazing is that scientists and Tarim oil workers have built a tree belt along the world's longest highway in the second largest floating desert in the world. Currently, the protective tree belt has begun improving the partial ecological environment, playing the role of ecological prevention of sand, according to the overseas edition of People's Daily on August 3.

In 1994, the Tarim desert highway was expanded to the central area of the Tarim Basin, and the completion of the central Tarim oil-gas field, the largest of its kind in China, will make Xinjiang become a strategic substitute area for China¡¯s oil and gas resources. Following this, the highway continued to expand in the desert and has turned into a macro-artery for bringing along the economic development in southern Xinjiang.

In 1994, scientists and technicians started experimental afforestation project in the desert oil-gas field, found high-mineral-content underground water there for planting forests and selected a batch of tree plants suitable to grow in desert.

In 1999, a pilot project of sand protection afforestation belt along a 6.3-kilometer section of the highway was completed and in 2001, a demonstration project of protective afforestation belt along 30.8-km section was built.

In 2003, approved by the state, the highway tree belt project was in operation with an investment of 220 million yuan. Up to now, a 72- to 78-meter-wide tree belt along a 436-kilometer highway has been built, covering a total area of 3,128 hectares.

By People's Daily Online



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