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Chinese people make desert disappear by planting trees in afforestation efforts

(People's Daily Online)    08:48, June 22, 2020
Chinese people make desert disappear by planting trees in afforestation efforts
The Mu Us Desert in the early days.

Thanks to their exceptional planting skills, Chinese people will soon see one of its four major deserts, the Mu Us Desert in Yulin, northwest China's Shaanxi province, be fully covered by trees and plants, WeChat account of China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

Last April, Shaanxi forestry bureau announced that 93.2 percent of the desertified land in Yulin had been put under control, signaling that the Mu Us Desert, which covers an area of 42,200 square kilometers, will be the first desert to disappear on earth.

Planting trees is the key to China's success in desertification prevention and control.

In May 1974, 54 young militiawomen, who were only 18 years old in Yulin, actively responded to the country's call for afforestation and formed a desertification control company.

Since the conditions were so harsh, the company stipulated that members should leave once they get married.

Xi Yongcui, one of the first-generation members of the company who spent eight years on the team, put off her wedding three times in an effort to work longer for the undertaking.

Xi Cai'e, the 14th commander of the desertification control company and grandniece of Xi Yongcui, demanded to join the company because of the frequent sandy weather in her hometown.

Over the past few decades, these militiawomen have collectively put over 933 hectares of the desert area under control.

Forty years ago, Guo Chengwang, a villager who is nearly 100 years old in Jingbian county, Yulin, obtained the land-use right of 3,000 hectares of uncultivated desert land by contract.

Thanks to the joint efforts of Guo's entire family, the desert of his hometown is now fully covered by green plants.

Because of people like the desertification control company and Guo's family, villages near the Mu Us Desert now not only fear high winds and sandy weather no more, but have also become well-known vegetable bases.

As the area of the Mu Us Desert reduces by 1.6 percent every year, the forest coverage rate of the desert has increased from 0.9 percent in 1949 to 34.8 percent today.

The trees planted in the desert can circle the equator of the earth 54 times if they are spaced a meter apart.

China has not only achieved remarkable results in combating desertification in the Mu Us Desert, but in other areas of the country as well, with the average vegetation coverage rate of Hunshandake Sandland, and the sandlands in Khorchin grassland and Hulunbuir in north China's Inner Mongolia reaching 42.7 percent, 38.2 percent, and 68.3 percent respectively.

Along with turning boundless deserts into an oasis, Chinese people, who have always been good at planting, have planted trees and vegetables literally everywhere they go.

The Chinese peace-keeping force has grown watermelon in Africa's Djibouti, a country that has long been troubled by deserts and droughts.

In China's Antarctica research station, scientific researchers cultivated vegetables with soilless culture methods.

The country has even brought its enthusiasm for and capability to grow plants on the moon.

To promote the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which is marked on every June 17 worldwide, China made efforts to raise public awareness of combating desertification under the theme “jointly prevent desertification and safeguard lucid waters and lush mountains” this year.


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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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