China's desert-control experiences and achievements have been highly appreciated by international delegates attending an ongoing UN meeting here on combating desertification.
Many participants from developing countries at the 11th session of the UN Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD), which opened here on Sept. 16, have expressed great interest in exchanging ideas with and learning from their Chinese counterparts.
China is a country severely affected by expanding deserts, with a desertification area of 2.62 million square kilometers, which accounts for 27 percent of the country's total land area. After decades of joint efforts by the Chinese government and people, desertification in China has been initially reversed.
During the UNCCD conference, Chinese delegates shared with delegates from around the world China's theoretical concepts in controlling desertification.
Liu Tuo, head of the Chinese government delegation, told Xinhua that the concepts can be summarized into three aspects -- the integration of desert prevention, control and utilization; the joint efforts by the government, businesses and the people with the government playing the leading role; formulating relevant laws and policies and promoting exemplary models.
The successful story of China's Elion Resources Company to turn over 5,000 square kilometers of the Kubuqi Desert into greeneries after 25 years of unremitting efforts has amazed many participants at the UN meeting.
Elion's Founder and Chairman Wang Wenbiao, who is also a member of the standing committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was honored with the UNCCD Global Drylands Champions award on Monday, which came as an appreciation for his contribution to the global anti- desertification cause.
In an interview with Xinhua, Wang said that what Elion has achieved is the successful result of the government's proactive guidance, policy incentives, market-oriented operation and the broad participation of the communities.
He explained that Elion has been pursuing two basic concepts in transforming deserts -- aspiring for public benefits while seeking business profits, and managing highly market-oriented operations.
Wang, however, stressed that while Elion's success should not be taken as a rigid model due to the different conditions in different desertification areas, people can still learn a sustainable way of controlling deserts from his company's experience.
The participants at the UN meeting have followed with great interest and appreciation the lessons and experiences shared by the Chinese government and the private sector.
UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja told Xinhua that during visits to China he personally witnessed what the country with a lowest rate of arable land per capita in the world has achieved in fighting desertification by formulating effective strategies and building mechanisms.
Gnacadja expressed hope that China will share with other countries these good experiences and practices during the UNCCD meeting.
Stephen Muwaya, national coordinator of UNCCD in Uganda's agriculture ministry, said both Africa and China are severely affected by desertification. China has been sharing technologies and effective practices in desert control with African countries, he said, adding that Africa hopes China will offer further help in capacity building and establishing relevant mechanisms.
UNCCD Latin America and the Caribbean Division Coordinator Heitor Matallo said China has made great contributions to the global cause of fighting desertification, adding that other countries could learn from China's valuable experiences, including pursuing long lasting policies, encouraging young people's involvement and developing the deserts through business means.
Ghana's deputy minister of environment Bernice Heloo said her country is highly concerned about the threat of desertification and is willing to learn from successful stories like Elion's model of controlling the Kubuqi Desert.