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China, ROK join hands in fighting desertification

(Xinhua)

08:18, March 30, 2012

LANZHOU, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Authorities from China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will jointly launch a project this year to curb desert encroachment in the hometown of the world-famous Mogao Grottoes, a local Chinese official said Thursday.

The three-year project aims to mitigate desertification over an area of 900 hectares in Dunhuang, a city in northwest China's Gansu province, by planting forests and building irrigation facilities, said Zhang Yuling, deputy director of the Dunhuang Municipal Forestry Bureau.

A total of 1.5 million U.S. dollars, two-thirds of which will be donated by ROK authorities, will be put into the ecological project, she said.

"The project will improve Dunhuang's capabilities for controlling desertification, and enable us to learn advanced techniques from the ROK," she said.

Surrounded by deserts, including the Gobi Desert, Dunhuang has been facing an increasingly severe desertification issue as the Kumutage Desert to the west of the city has inched toward Dunhuang at a speed of 2 to 4 meters per year.

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