China’s stony deserts shrink at faster pace

China Daily European Weekly - - NEWS DIGEST -

China’s stony desert ar­eas shrank at a faster pace dur­ing the past few years thanks to gov­ern­ment em­pha­sis on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. From 2011 to 2016, the area of stony deserts de­clined at an av­er­age 3.45 per­cent each year, quick­en­ing from a 1.27-per­cent an­nual drop in the pre­vi­ous five-year pe­riod, Liu Dong­sheng, deputy head of the Na­tional Forestry and Grass­land Ad­min­is­tra­tion, told a press con­fer­ence Dec 13. At the end of 2016, stony deserts stood at 10.07 mil­lion hectares, Liu said. “The spread of stony deserts was ef­fec­tively con­tained.” The en­vi­ron­men­tal im­prove­ment was at­trib­uted to ef­forts to pro­tect veg­e­ta­tion and plant more trees and grass, which con­trib­uted 65.5 per­cent to re­vers­ing de­ser­ti­fi­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to Liu.

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