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China’s creeping sands

Growing sands are transforming China’s arable land, with nearly 20% of the country’s land area classified as desert. A slideshow by photographer Sean Gallagher documents the issue, which affects the lives of an estimated 400 million people.

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Desertification is the gradual transformation of arable and habitable land into desert, normally caused by climate change or the destructive use of land. Each year, desertification and drought account for US$42 billion loss in food productivity worldwide.

It is estimated that nearly 20% of China's land area, some 1.74 million square kilometres, is now classified as desert. Affecting the lives of an estimated 400 million people, it is one of the most important environmental issues in China today.

Riding on China’s “desertification train”, which passes through the country’s driest and hardest-hit provinces – Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Gansu and Xinjiang – Sean Gallagher travelled over 4,000 kilometres to document the environmental challenges along the route.

You can read Sean Gallagher’s dispatches from the field [in English] here


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匿名 | Anonymous



(Translated by Braden Latham-Jones.)

Estimate Source

I am always curious about estimates such as these. Who made them?


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匿名 | Anonymous



山姆·吉尔 (中外对话)

Re: Estimate Source

With regard to the claim that "desertification affects 400 million people in China," this statistic was cited by Tang Yun, China's general director of the Research Department for Industry, Transportation and Trade, at the State Council Development Research Center, in 2008. Source here.

It is also a figure cited by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in 2002, here.

I hope that helps,
Sam Geall (chinadialogue)

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匿名 | Anonymous



When treading on grassland becomes a 'shame'

As you see grass and trees dotted here and there on the ground, you commonly see signs with mild statements such as 'Take care of flowers and grass'. In comparison, this eye-catching sign comes across as quite serious, but also has an air of helplessness, reminding one of 'the eight-honours and eight-shames'.
Translated by diaoshuhuan

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匿名 | Anonymous


种植在澳洲被证明能有效逆转沙漠化的植物。滨藜C4光合途径能逆转土地沙化和沙漠化并释出土壤和土壤碳。种植这种非杂草类植物对巩固土壤是必要的。这样,在未来某个时间就可以种植本土的农作物和蔬菜,并能够引入可持续耕作和放牧的新的道德标准。一系列的试验现已证实了以上推论。 Robert Vincin于北京。


Solution to desertification

Planting out the approved Australian desert reversal, C4 photosynthesis pathway Bin Li Atriplex nummularia reverses sandification desertification and makes soil and soil carbon. It is necessary to plant out this non weed to fix soil, then at a point in time, native crops and vegetation can be planted out, and a new ethic on sustainable farming and grazing can be introduced. Tests now have proved such. Robert Vincin Beijing

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匿名 | Anonymous



The protection of soil resources requires immediate action

Due to desertification, salinization, and stonification, we loose an astonishing amount of soil every year, and soil restoration is very difficult. The protection of soil resources requires immediate action. (trans. Jerry Stewart)

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匿名 | Anonymous



Picture 2

The second picture is impressive. In early summer, it is not rare to see in the Northwest of China that plastic covering moisturizes sprouts grown in the cracking fields. When droughts are over, farming is a business that only brings deficit. Limited water supply has become a big issue affecting harvest as droughts are becoming more frequent.