China's Loess Plateau province treats 18,000 square km of land to fight erosion
TAIYUAN -- Shanxi, a province on the Loess Plateau in north China, has treated more than 18,000 square km of land to battle water and soil erosion over the past five years, authorities said Tuesday.
The province plans to treat another 366,667 hectares of land this year, according to the provincial administration of water resources.
The Loess Plateau used to be plagued by chronic soil erosion, resulting in ecological imbalance. Tens of millions of tonnes of mud and sand washed into the Yellow River every year, making up most of the silt that gave the river its name.
Thanks to the water and soil conservation efforts in recent years, such as afforestation projects, the amount of sand running into the Yellow River from the province dropped from some 400 million tonnes in the early 1950s to less than 20 million tonnes annually.
The forest coverage rate rose to 23.18 percent in 2019 from 2.4 percent in the early 1950s.