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16:06 Mar 17 2010

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Tibet strives to curb desertification in 2010
16:04, March 17, 2010  

Photo shows the afforested area by the middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, southeastern Tibet's Shannan Prefecture. (Photo Source:

Tibet will start the project to prevent and control desertification later this year, in a move to protect its ecological environment, according to Tibet's Regional Forestry Bureau.

As part of the program of preserving and building an eco-safety shield in Tibet, the project is designed to curb desertified area of 366,600 ha in two decades.

"Tibet now faces a serious situation in which desertification is expanding at an annual rate of 0.18 percent," a leading official of the bureau said.

Photo shows the picturesque view of the villages along the 318 National Route in Tibet. (Xinhua Photo)

Statistics show that Tibet has 21,700,000 ha of sandy areas, 18 percent of its landmass.

The official indicated that factors including perennial drought, uneven precipitation, and sparse vegetation are mainly attributed to the regional desertification. Moreover, human activities such as overstocking and tree felling are believed to have worsened the problem.

Desertification has resulted in lower production of farmland and living environmental deterioration.

From March 1 to April 29, 2009, 32 flights to Tibet failed to make normal landing because of bad weather. Some roads were even buried in sand in worst-hit areas.

Tibet began to prevent and control desertification in the 1970s, but with no evident effects achieved.

In recent years, with the unveiling of a national plan to preserve ecological safety in Tibet in February 2009, the central and local governments have redoubled their efforts to tackle this knotty problem.

Measures like afforestation, construction of sand-preventing shields and more water conservancy facilities has paid off, with 42,600 ha of sandy areas turned into woods.

Source: Xinhua

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