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China shares anti-desertification knowledge with Africa

(Xinhua)

08:21, June 18, 2012

BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Sunday saw the launch of a program under which Chinese experts will provide anti-desertification training to over 20 government officials from Africa.

Chinese authorities said the country has offered the training on the occasion of the 18th World Day to Combat Desertification. It will last for three weeks.

Zhao Shucong, chief of the State Forestry Administration, described desertification as a common ecological challenge to mankind.

"The Chinese government is willing to join hands with African nations to make greater contributions to improving the living environment for humans," Zhao said at a launching ceremony.

The prevention and treatment of desertification has been agreed as an agenda in an action plan under the framework of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation. The training will involve on-site surveys and discussions in order to find effective measures to combat the problem.

China is one of many nations to suffer heavily from desertification, with about 27.33 percent of its land occupied by deserts. However, due to increased preventive efforts in recent years, its deserts are currently decreasing by 1,717 square km annually on average, reversing a trend seen in the late 20th century when the areas expanded by an annual average of 3,436 square km.

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