China joins ac­tion on de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By YANG WANLI in Or­dos, In­ner Mon­go­lia yang­wanli@chi­

China will join hands with coun­tries tak­ing part in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive to fight against de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion, fur­ther strengthen tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion and pro­mote ex­changes to boost green economies in the re­gion.

A mech­a­nism for co­op­er­a­tion was launched dur­ing the 13th Ses­sion of the Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion to Com­bat De­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion, which ended on Fri­day in Or­dos in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

China will work with coun­tries in­clud­ing Pak­istan, In­dia and Saudi Ara­bia to ex­plore an ef­fec­tive longterm mech­a­nism, ac­cord­ing to Pan Yingzhen, di­rec­tor of the De­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion Con­trol Bu­reau un­der the State Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Pan said that a group of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions will also be in­vited to en­gage with or sup­port the mech­a­nism, in­clud­ing the UNCCD Sec­re­tariat and United Na­tions En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gramme.

Zhang Jian­long, di­rec­tor of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, said the mech­a­nism will help mem­bers co­op­er­ate on fi­nanc­ing, shar­ing in­for­ma­tion, pro­fes­sional train­ing and learn­ing from each other’s projects.

“It shows China’s wis­dom of ab­sorb­ing in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in preven­tion and con­trol in or­der to pro­mote sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment,” Zhang said. “We will de­vote our­selves to de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion preven­tion and con­trol, and make con­tri­bu­tions to de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion preven­tion and con­trol in coun­tries in­volved in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.”

In the past five years, 29.8 mil­lion hectares of desert in the coun­try have turned green, and a to­tal of 11.6 bil­lion trees have been planted, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“The mech­a­nism will pro­mote fair and im­par­tial de­vel­op­ment of UN mem­ber states. Through in­tro­duc­ing green de­vel­op­ment con­cepts and tech­nolo­gies, it will deepen ex­changes in the econ­omy and other fields among coun­tries in­volved in the Belt and Road,” said Monique Bar­but, UNCCD’s ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary.

A to­tal of 112 coun­tries have joined the cam­paign to make the UN’s Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal of achiev­ing land degra­da­tion neu­tral­ity by 2030 a na­tional tar­get for ac­tion, in­clud­ing Brazil, China, In­dia, Nige­ria and Rus­sia.

The Or­dos Dec­la­ra­tion was also an­nounced on Fri­day night, which in­cluded three new pro­pos­als re­lated to drought, par­tic­i­pa­tion of women and youth, as well as de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion and mi­gra­tion.

“Those three top­ics were pro­posed for the first time in the UNCCD. More­over, in the dec­la­ra­tion, the Chi­nese mode of fight­ing against de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion through in­tro­duc­ing a green econ­omy for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and stim­u­lat­ing lo­cal peo­ple’s en­thu­si­asm to join in the cam­paign are widely rec­og­nized by the world,” said Jia Xiaoxia, deputy di­rec­tor of the De­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion Con­trol Bu­reau.

The Land Degra­da­tion Neu­tral­ity Fund was also launched dur­ing the con­fer­ence, with an ini­tial tar­get size of $300 mil­lion. The fund is a first-of-its-kind in­vest­ment, lever­ag­ing pub­lic money to raise pri­vate cap­i­tal for sus­tain­able land man­age­ment and land­scape restora­tion ac­tiv­i­ties world­wide.

The mech­a­nism will pro­mote fair and im­par­tial de­vel­op­ment of UN mem­ber states.” Monique Bar­but,

Gao Meng con­trib­uted to this story.

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