Can a “Green Great Wall” stave off environmental disaster?
The Duolun project is but a sliver of a titanic tree-planting effort unfolding across China.
The sand lands that cover as much as 27 percent of the country have expanded rapidly—by 2006 they were devouring usable land at a rate of almost 1,000 square miles per year (nearly the area of Yosemite National Park) – up from 600 square miles in the 1950s.
Sand and dust regularly inundate farms and villages and shut down roads and railways.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of it blow into Beijing and other cities, creating a vicious health hazard. Researchers estimate that desertification costs the Chinese economy billions of dollars per year.
China’s solution is to build a “Green Great Wall.”