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Takash devotes to against desertification in China

People's Daily Online)  10:59, December 12, 2012

Otaki Takashi prunes a tree in Kulun Banner of Tongliao City, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 11, 2012. (Xinhua/Ren Junchuan)

Green Network is a Japan-based NGO dedicated to afforestation, which started the green project in Horqin in 2000. Otaki Takashi, one of the founders of Green Network, established Green Network's branch in Horqin Left Wing Rear banner of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region 12 years ago and never left.

In 1997, Otaki Takashi as a graduate from Japan was greatly shocked by his witness of serious desertification in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the youngster then decided to devote himself to fighting against desertification. He took Horqin as his battlefield and has himself rooted here for more than 10 years. He married a local woman in 2007 and now has two children.

The desertification of Horqin began in the 1980s, due to a growing population and the increased grazing of domestic animals.

At first, only few villagers were willing to cooperate with Otaki. But when he kept on planting trees and sandy fields began to turn green, he won the trust of locals and people began to join in his afforestation. Now, local people voluntarily participate in Otaki's afforestation when it enters the tree-planting season.

With the help of local people and government, Otaki Takashi's NGO has planted more than 4.5 million trees, covering about 2,000 hectares of sandy land. The trees belong to the locals who own the land. The NGO offers money to buy saplings and tools, and to drill water wells, while the villagers do such work as watering and pruning the trees, for free.

The afforestation drive has not only reduced sandstorms, but also improved the lives of the locals. The cattle herders cut weeds and feed cows and sheep and use the pruned branches to make fire. During the slack farming season, the women gather mushrooms in the forests to sell.

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