Published: Thursday 30 September 1999

The Chinese government has kicked off its development campaign in the Shaanxi province. The province is a major centre for trade in northwestern China. The plan, introduced by prime minister Zhu Rongji recently, aims at creating a greener region within the next 10 years. It also promises to revitalise the landscape and introduce an intensive development plan for the region, said Li Jianguo, secretary of the Shaanxi provincial party committee.

This new round of campaigning against worsening erosion will see an investment worth several billion yuan in the coming years, reported China Daily. So far, the details of the plan as well as the amount to be invested is not yet available. Cheng Dong, the governor, will lead a special group to carry out the central government's plan. "This means from now on local resident's in these harsh regions, who are used to planting crops, will convert to planting trees and grass in the hills," said Wang Yuecheng, an ecology expert. The desertification in northern China in the 1990s was among the most serious in the world because of over grazing, deforestation and environmentally irresponsible development policies.

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