Discover Xinjiang: Ecological Protection
Before the 1980s, Aksu City and many other urban areas in the southern part of northwest China’s Xinjiang were surrounded by desert, which was expanding at a rate of five meters a year, causing more than 100 days of sandstorms every year.
Facing the severe ecological crisis, the local government decided that it was urgent to take strong actions to improve the living environment of local people. Since the year of 1986, large-scale tree planting was organized to curb the wind and sand.
In the past 35 years, Aksu has grown from desert into over 80 thousand hectares (1,202,600 mu) of afforestation now, total plantation area increased by 707 times, wetland area increased by 60%.
Over the decades, local people turned deserts into forests, protected habitats for the wildlife, and even made farming here possible. Now featuring the economic forest, the region has achieved industrial transformation and upgrading.[ Editor: WXY]