Province is drying up

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 September, 2011, 12:00am

Jilin province's desertification has created environmental problems not only for its cities but also for nearby provinces and even Beijing. As land in the northeastern province dries up and becomes deserts, soil is loosened and swept away by the wind, causing sandstorms in central and southern China.

Last month, Young Post visited Jilin with students from CLP's Young Power Programme, which hosted a 10-day green tour for teenagers from Hong Kong, Nanning in Guangxi province and India.

Most of Jilin's grasslands have turned into sandy deserts. In the early 1900s, Jilin was like any other northern province, but now its western parts have many desert-like areas.

There are two main causes of desertification, said a spokesman for the Jilin Forestry Administration: rapid climate change and improper farming practices. The rainfall in Jilin has dropped sharply in the past decades as people overuse the land to breed animals or grow crops.

In fact, a CLP project to plant trees in Jilin has run into difficulties. The soil is too poor for any species to survive, so the energy company had to first take soil from other provinces to Jilin.

As for the type of tree that was planted, CLP selected a special species, the Russian olive, which can survive in extremely adverse weather and soil conditions.

In 2008, CLP planned to plant one million trees in the Asia-Pacific region. So far, they have planted 817,000. Of the one million trees, the company expected to plant 33,000 at their Qianan wind farm in Jilin.



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