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        Inner Mongolia advances Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program

        By YUAN HUI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-23 10:19
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        Construction of a wind and photovoltaic power integration project is underway in Ordos city, Inner Mongolia. [Photo by Wang Xiaobo/Alshaa League Media Center]

        As of March 20, all projects related to sand and desert control and those connected to the integrated development of wind and photovoltaic power across North China's Inner Mongolia have commenced, further bolstering the region's efforts to advance the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program, according to information from the region's forestry and grassland bureau.

        Among the ongoing projects are the comprehensive management project for the desert in western Inner Mongolia's Alshaa League (phase II), the construction of the "Photovoltaic Great Wall" in the Kubuqi Desert in Ordos city, and a project to eliminate the Hunshandake Desert in Xiliin Gol League.

        New energy utilization projects are also under construction in Chifeng city.

        The Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program is a large-scale afforestation and ecological project involving the northwest, north, and northeast regions of China, spanning from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the west to Heilongjiang province in the east.

        According to the plan, the program's construction scope covers 13 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities, with a total construction area of 4.07 million square kilometers.

        Over 60 percent of the workload is within Inner Mongolia, meaning the region bears the lion's share of responsibilities and tasks.

        To achieve the project's objectives, Inner Mongolia has formulated and completed a "Sixth Phase Plan for the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (2021-30)", along with an implementation plan for three affected areas.

        These objectives were created to ensure that all five control areas and 11 major projects within the jurisdiction of Inner Mongolia are incorporated into the national plan, with all banners and counties included in the implementation scope.

        Also, Inner Mongolia has sought national project funding support. Currently, over 70 projects in the region have applied for support, with a total funding application of over 40 billion yuan ($5.48 billion). These projects aim to complete sand and desert control tasks on over 15 million mu (1 million hectares) of land this year.

        Since the launch of the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program, Inner Mongolia's control effectiveness has ranked first among the 13 places involved, effectively reducing the hazards of sand, dust and soil erosion.

        In 2023, the afforestation area in Inner Mongolia covered 5.56 million mu, the grass planting area encompassed 18.17 million mu, and the area where sand and desert control measures were implemented reached 9.5 million mu, exceeding the annual targets by 149 percent, 140 percent and 151 percent, respectively.

        In 2024, Inner Mongolia plans to complete the comprehensive management of 2.3 million mu of desertified land and add 13.2 million kilowatts of new energy installations.

        To achieve such goals, local authorities emphasize the need to establish and improve a stable and sustainable diversified investment mechanism, which will mobilize more businesses and individuals to participate in sand and desert control work.

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