Growing China's great green wall

October 2005
Ecos;Oct/Nov2005, Issue 127, p13
Blog Entry
This article reports that Chinese authorities are beginning the western phase of the historic and ambitious Great Green Wall, a 4480-kilometre belt of forest across 551 counties and 13 provinces in north-west, central north and north-east China. Part of broader national environment programmes, it is the world's largest ecological development, and is designed to halt 2460 square kilometres of land being lost annually to the expanding Gobi Desert due to overgrazing, deforestation and drought. The 73-year development is divided into three stages and eight phases, with the new western phase falling under the second stage, concluded in 2001. Already, the State Forestry Administration claims to have planted 24 million hectares of forests across China, resulting in protection of 60 per cent of cultivated land. The Three-North Shelterbelt Reforestation itself is part of a range of six shelterbelt developments throughout China. More broadly, the Chinese government has been implementing 10 major, national ecological initiatives. These involve highly complex plans for environmental protection and development, within which the government aims to maintain a balance between the ecological and economic functions of its forests.


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