With rising deforestation and climate change, the world is refocusing on plantations and greenery. China has emerged as the undisputed leader in the successful greening of degraded grasslands and deserts, as evidenced by a number of recent awards. Due to its massive efforts in tree planting, the United Nations named China’s Ant Forest Program a Champion of the Earth in December 2019. According to a UN survey, drylands cover a large portion of the earth. In fact, with almost all deserts accounting for 41 per cent of the total land area. What if we turn this area into fertile land while remaining green and clean? Indeed, this practice has been observed in China. It has a total land area of 3.5 billion acres, of which only 12 per cent is arable. The transformation of China’s deserts into green forests is a miracle. But how all this happened? Lets learn about “How is China turning Deserts into a green forest?”.

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Turning Deserts into arable lands:

How is China turning Deserts into a green forest? In 2016, a group of Chinese researchers claimed to have developed a technology that would convert desert into arable land.

The idea seemed very appealing at first because it would increase agricultural production and turn desert areas into green arable lands, but had anyone considered that it could also harm the environment, climate, biodiversity, and other factors?

Chongqing University researchers developed a cellulose plant paste that allows the soil to gather essential nutrients while also retaining microbes and water.

When this miracle paste was applied to some desert areas, significant changes were observed. The desert land was converted into arable land.

This amazing technique developed in China and what was even more amazing was that the land required less fertiliser than normal irrigation.

However, there are some significant drawbacks to this technology-based increase in forest area production. It is increasing the salinity of the water. Many scientists are concerned because the majority of the plants (trees) are not native to the area and require a lot of water, despite the fact that the areas are already experiencing water shortages as a result of increased global warming. Most scientists believe that plantation in those areas is beneficial. But the government intends to plant herbs, shrubs, and small plants in the surrounding areas as well.

Three-North Shelterbelt Program :

China launched a far more ambitious agenda in 1978, dubbed the Three-North Shelter Forest Program, also known as the Three-North Shelterbelt Program or the Great Green Wall. The program’s goal is to halt the spread of the vast Gobi Desert and to launch forestry initiatives in the northeast, north, and northwest.

This programme also reduced sandstorms, prevented soil erosion, and kept soil and water balance in check. The government has planted 66 billion trees in 13 provinces along the country. Especially in north-western border since the program’s inception in 1978.

According to the government, deserts in the United States grew by 10,400 square kilometers per year around the year 2000. According to the State Forestry Administration, which released the data in 2017, China’s deserts are shrinking at a rate of more than 2,400 square kilometers per year.

Forests covered 72.67 million km2 in 2018, while agriculture covered 86.67 million km2. The coverage rate of forest resources was 22.96 per cent, and the forest stock was 17.56 billion cubic meters. The Greening of degraded grassland reached 55.7 per cent, 0.4 per cent higher than the previous year.

Conclusion:

Despite the fact that China’s efforts to turn its deserts into grassland were successful and aided China in its mission to turn the deserts into green spaces, the artificial technique had numerous negative effects that were largely overlooked by the general public.

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