The Green Wall of China


The Green Wall of China

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

And speaking of China… some fascinating stuff in Wikipedia’s article on the <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gobi_desert
” target=”_blank”>Gobi Desert and the Green Wall of China:

‘The Green Wall of China, also known as the Green Great Wall or Great Green Wall (Chinese: 绿色长城), will be a series of human-planted forest strips in the People’s Republic of China, designed to hold back the Gobi Desert. It is planned to be completed around 2074, at which point it is planned to be 2,800 miles long.’

Why is it necessary? Glad you asked…

‘Currently, the Gobi desert is expanding at an alarming rate, in a process known as desertification. The expansion is particularly rapid on the southern edge into China, which has seen 3,600 km² (1,390 sq mi) of grassland overtaken every year by the Gobi Desert. This loss of farmland has caused an estimated $50 billion in losses each year for China’s economy. Dust storms, which were once a rarity, are springing up all over China, and could cause even further damage to China’s agriculture economy.

‘The expansion of the Gobi is attributed mostly to human activities, notably deforestation, overgrazing, overconsumption of water resources, and global warming. China has made various plans to try to slow the expansion of the desert, which have met with some small degree of success, but usually have no major impact. The most recent plan involves the planting of the Green Wall of China, a huge ring of newly-planted forests that the Chinese government hopes will act as a buffer against further expansion.’

Image: The Gobi Desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China, By Junming, from Wikipedia.

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