China is one of the most severely impacted countries in the world in regards to desertification, with over 400 million people impacted and over 30% of the land is adversely affected by it.
Ecological land degradation and land fragmentation by water and wind erosion, overgrazing, deforestation, and intensive agricultural uses of the land are just some of the many causes of desertification in the upper Northern (both west and east) part of China, where most of the desertification is concentrated.
This has a huge impact on China’s growing population, on a national scale with decertification threatening 2 million hectares of farmland and nearly 5 million hectares of pasture land and the estimated economic losses related from low productivity in agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry to be 4.5 billion RMB yuan. At a more local, community level, herding tribes rely on their camels, goats and sheep to make a living but with this ever increasing problem the loss of the quality of wool and land makes for a declining income for the herders.
At this same local level, education and community involvement is key to begin the journey of combatting desertification. Such as teaching the locals about land management, fencing off areas to stop overgrazing, planting trees to create a barriers against wind and water erosion, and better irrigation management to stop leaking water and rising of the water table which leads to salinity and directly contributing to desertification.
On a more national scale, they implemented a 10 year national plan for combatting desertification that started in 1990 to 2000, and is now continuing to a long term goals until 2050, with good progress being made, in 2015 over the past 5 years, China has treated 10 million hectares of desertified land.
Progress is being made all over the show, at community levels and then on the grand big scale of a whole country and then again on a global scale with the united nations implementing across the whole world, so good things are happening everywhere, be it in a tiny tribe in northern China, or the state of Victoria in Australia or the whole wide world.
China national report on the implementation of the united nations convention to combat desertification, China national committee for the implementation for the UNCCD, viewed 29th April 2016, http://www.unccd.int/RegionalReports/china-eng2006.pdf
Fao corporate document depository, overview of land desertification issues and activities in the peoples republic of China, viewed 29th April 2016, http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7539e/w7539e03.htm
Global education, case studies, viewed 29th April 2016, http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/case-studies/reversing-desertification-in-china.html
Xiaodong, G, Kaikai, D, Luloff, A, Luyao, W, Jun, X, Shiying, W, & Qian, W 2016, ‘Correlation between landscape fragmentation and sandy desertification: a case study in Horqin Sandy Land, China’, Environmental Monitoring & Assessment, 188, 1, pp. 62-78, GreenFILE, EBSCOhost, viewed 29 April 201
China daily USA, China stresses efforts to fight desertification, 2015, viewed 29th April 2016, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-06/16/content_21022539.htm