Project Geared Up to Protect Beijing From Desert Invasion

China News Digest, 29 August 2001

[CND, 08/29/01] Beijing is stepping up a reforestation project to stop the desert from advancing into the city, AFP reported on Tuesday, citing the Xinhua News Agency.

According to the director of the National Forestry Service, Zhou Shengxian, over 15 million acres of deserted area and 2.2 million acres of arable land will be forested. The project is part of a 10 year program to restore forests in suburban Beijing and other northern Chinese metropolitans.

Only 155 miles away from the desert and worsened due to massive constructions in the city, Beijing has recently experienced an increase in numbers and severity of sandstorms originated from the desert areas in northwestern China. The serious situation has greatly alarmed government officials.

In order to fight against the desert's invasion, Beijing has launched a Green Wall project since 1980, hoping a forest would be established around Beijing and the city protected from the desert's advance. (SUN Xiaoan)