Desertification in China reversed over past decade

Beijing, Dec 29 (IANS) China has experienced less serious desertification over the past decade with data revealing that desertified areas have been shrinking, the forestry authority said on Tuesday.

By the end of 2014, there was 2.61 million sq.km of desertified area in China, about 27 percent of the whole territory, down 12,120 sq.km from a previous survey in 2009, the People’s Daily reported.

China has been monitoring desertification and sandification every five years since 1995. It was in 2004 that desertified areas started to reduce.

By the end of 2014, there was 1.72 million sq.km of sandified land, about 17.93 percent of the national territory, down 9,902 sq.km from 2009.

Despite the notable progress, the monitoring results also indicate that desertification and sandification are still a serious matter, said Zhang Jianlong, head of the administration.

Launched in January 2014, this fifth monitoring survey combines land surface data with satellite remote-sensing technology, and is expected to inform policy-making.

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