China has rehabilitated 10 million hectares of desertified land and 1.3 million hectares of stony desertification during its 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
From 2016 to 2020, China has made great strides in desertification control. The Beijing-Tianjin project of sandstorm source control has completed the afforestation of 1.019 million hectares and sand fixation of 34,700 hectares. The country has established 46 new protection areas closed for desertification treatment, with a total area of 1.771 million hectares. Fifty new national desert and stony parks span a total area of 430,000 hectares. Nationwide, fifty-three comprehensive demonstration zones for sand prevention and control have been set up.
At present, stony desertification covers over one million hectares, decreasing by 1.932 million hectares from 2011. The vegetation coverage rate is 61.4 percent.
The country's relentless endeavor to mitigate desertification has not only led to a robust ecological barrier, but also boosted local economies. Based on local conditions, some areas have developed green industries, such as growing traditional Chinese medicinal materials, vegetables and fruits. This has advanced economic restructuring and enhanced people's livelihoods.
(Compiled by Liu Tongshan)