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Chinese farmer turned sand control expert invited to major UN conference

By Fang Tian (People's Daily Online)    15:49, August 25, 2017

From farmer to sand control expert, Lou Zhiping, a 72-year-old man from Shengzhou, east China's Zhejiang province, was invited to attend the 13th United Nations Conference of Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCDD COP13) to be held in Ordos on Sept. 6, Shaoxing Daily reported on Aug. 23.

Lou is a farmer skilled at gardening, known for the U-shaped sand fixing network and the hung net barrier, two innovative methods that can effectively control desertification, which he invented after years of trials and efforts. It's known that these two methods have been awarded national invention patents, taking the lead in the field.

At the age of 60, Lou left for Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, where a desert research station is located, to get involved in the control of desertification.

According to Lou, conventional sand control tools, such as grass checker boards or vertical nets, are not effective enough to control the problem. The key to control desertification is to fix the moving sand dunes. Based on this observation, he proposed controlling the tops of sand dunes and designed an eight-shaped net barrier in 2008, a breakthrough in the field.

In 2013, Lou updated his net barrier to make it even more effective at stopping sand, and spread the technique to deserts in Inner Mongolia and along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Now, the farmer has made a name for himself as a member of China's Desertification Control Council, promoting control methods in northwestern China's desert areas.

Lou feels glad to be invited to attend the UNCDD COP13. He is ready to introduce his inventions to experts around the world in the hope of contributing to global desertification control, Lou told the journalist.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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