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Tibet reaps benefits of desertification control program

Source:China.org.cn 2015年06月12日 11:27

Karma Ngodrup remembers when the grass behind the family's house was always buried in yellow sand, and firewood was often blown away by strong sandstorms.

The scene in Chanang County in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region is different today with its clear air and lush green forests covering the mountains.

Tibet's environment has significantly improved after a decades-long ecological protection drive emphasizing afforestation and new energy promotion.

For years, human activity threatened the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau and accelerated desertification in the region, making environmental protection in Tibet an urgent task.

From the 1960s, the central government has taken a variety of measures to tackle environmental issues, including creating state-level nature reserves and launching key ecological projects.

Those measures are said to have prevented or controlled the desertification of at least 108,000 hectares of land so far.

"It's hard for me to describe the huge difference," Ngodrup said.

Water conservation in the forests, plains and wetlands of the Tibet Plateau stood at 91 billion cubic meters between 2008 and 2012, an increase of 1.01 percent compared to 1990 and 2008, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

"Better water conservation guarantees sufficient water flow for international waterways that run through Tibet while improving the ecosystem," said ecology expert Dawa Tsering.

The Tibet government is also promoting the use of electricity, methane and solar power. New energy sources take the place of animal waste and firewood.

In addition, 100 million yuan (US$16.1 million) is given out each year to encourage environmental protection,.

"We are taking environmental protection seriously," said Jiang Bai, of Tibet's environmental protection department, "and will continue to do so by severely punishing anyone violating environmental laws and regulations."

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