China holds UN conference on desertification to assist global greening

The 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was opened in Ordos, northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on Sept. 6.

Representatives from each country gathered at the meeting, jointly discussing the solution to global desertification.

China, as the host of the conference, has shown its leadership with a series of measures it has taken to control desertification, said Pradeep Monga, deputy executive of the UNCCD.

The Chinese government has always laid great importance on desertification control and actively shared its results. The area of the country’s desertified land is being reduced by 2,400 square kilometers annually, while it was expanding by 10,000 square kilometers at the end of the last century. China’s experience is replicable, promotable, and sustainable, which could also be taken as a solution for other countries.

Juncao, a self-developed technology of China that cultivates edible and medicinal fungi by using wild grasses and herbal plants instead of trees or woods, has been introduced to more than 70 countries and regions.

At a meeting on combating desertification held in New York in June, representatives from South Africa, Iran, Tunisia, and Senegal spoke highly of China’s contribution to promote international cooperation on desertification control.

They said that China’s Juncao technology has helped developing countries strengthen capability construction, substantially improving their forestation, food security, and eco-systems.

Over the years, China has conducted large-scale international cooperation on desertification. It has signed forestry cooperation agreements with more than 1/3 of the world’s countries, and trained a mass of desertification control professionals for developing countries.

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Erik Solheim pointed out that China’s experience will be largely applied in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America with the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. It will benefit the people in the countries and regions suffering from sandstorms, he added.

The Coalition for Green Development on the Belt and Road was jointly established by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and UNEP in May. It aims to offer forestation experiences and develop clean energies for related countries.

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