China stepped up efforts last year to control desert sprawl and preserve ecology on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where the country's major rivers originate.
Last year, nearly 10,000 hectares of trees were planted in Sanjiangyuan, the source of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers, China's three major rivers, Qinghai's forestry bureau said in a press release Friday.
Meanwhile, another 1,900 hectares of sand fixation projects were launched in the region to curb desertification and preserve the ecology of the plateau, it said.
Sand control is a major challenge in the Sanjiangyuan region, particularly at the source of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers in the Qaidam and Gonghe basins and around Qinghai Lake.
Sand control specialists have used new technologies to fix sand dunes, plant trees and grass, and try water-saving irrigation methods to restore vegetation on the plateau.
Trees were planted along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and at least 95 percent of them survived.
Two sand control projects carried out in the cold, arid Ulan and Guinan counties, which involved tree planting and sand dune fixation, are also beginning to pay off as they have effectively curbed desert sprawl.
The two projects have passed the acceptance tests of the state.
This year, the provincial government has earmarked 1.95 billion yuan (over 308 million U.S. dollars) to offer subsidies to herders who give up herding in off-limits pastures to help preserve local ecology.
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