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Green Transformation: Ulan Buh Desert Combats Desertification and Poverty

The Yobo Desert is receiving a green transformation after being plagued by massive sandstorms and creeping desertification, posing significant challenges to the local communities.

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However, a transformative ecological restoration project led by China Construction First Group is transforming the landscape and the lives of the locals for the better.

Green Transformation: Ulan Buh Desert Combats Desertification and Poverty.
Green Transformation: Ulan Buh Desert Combats Desertification and Poverty. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Once an area of sandstorms and desolation, the Ulan Buh Desert has undergone a remarkable transformation. China Construction First Group’s Yoso Highno Ecological Restoration Project has not only improved the environment but also brought economic opportunities to the people living here.

Alocal farmer, vividly recalls the days when sandstorms would darken the sky, engulfing his house. He had already lost one home to the relentless desert sands. However, thanks to the project, the desert has taken on a brand new look.

The once barren landscape is now adorned with numerous plants, resembling grass but are actually trees that can grow up to five meters tall.

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These trees serve multiple purposes, including windbreak and sand fixation functions. Additionally, they provide an essential ingredient for traditional Chinese medicine, known as “golden shoots,” which can be sold at high prices, fetching up to $60 to $140 per kilogram. The profits from these valuable resources are shared with the local farmers, significantly enhancing their livelihoods.

China Construction First Group’s project includes a sustainable forest covering nearly 670 hectares of land, specifically designed to aid in poverty alleviation. Local villagers, including horsemen and farmers, were trained in tree planting and land stewardship, empowering them with essential skills and diversified income sources.

Green Transformation: Ulan Buh Desert Combats Desertification and Poverty.
PHOTO/Courtesy: An aerial view of a semi-desert place.

Over 1,200 local villagers have actively participated in the reforestation efforts, with approximately 100 residents who once lived in poverty now earning an additional $1,200 monthly during harvest seasons. This tremendous improvement in their economic situation brings hope and prosperity to the once-struggling community.

The positive impact of the project extends beyond the immediate area. A total of 1 million cubic meters of sand will be withheld from flowing into the Yellow River each year, contributing to the river’s health and environmental preservation. Moreover, the livelihoods of 37,000 people residing in the basin have also improved, promising increased incomes and brighter economic prospects for the entire community.

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