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Grassland ecology to curb sandstorms 2006-07-09 11:27:05

    TIANJIN, July 9 (Xinhua) -- China's efforts to improve grassland ecology for the purpose of curbing sandstorms affecting the national capital Beijing and port city of Tianjin have paid off in the past six years, according to government sources.

    A total of 7.6 million hectares of grasslands that are deteriorating ecologically have been harnessed and protected over the past six years under a program to halt grassland deterioration so as to prevent and control sandstorms plaguing Beijing and Tianjin from the sources, said Zong Jinyao, an official in charge of grassland monitoring with the Ministry of Agriculture.

    Grasslands take the lion's share of the vegetation in areas around Beijing and Tianjin, and the occurrence of sandstorms has much to do with the deteriorating grassland ecology and desertification of these areas.

    The efforts to prevent grassland degeneration include growing more grasses, reserving grasslands for bearing seeds and rearing livestocks in pens, the official said.

    Thanks to the implementation of the project, the sandy areas in the project have been reduced by 155,000 hectares in the past six years, Zong added.

    By the end of last year, the grass output of the projected areas rose by 30 percent to 50 percent on average and the vegetation coverage rate by five to 15 percentages points.

    Currently, China has 400 million hectares of grasslands, 180 million hectares of which are degenerating. Enditem

Editor: Ling Zhu
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