STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Ordos; curing cancer of the earth

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Added On September 13, 2017

Yin Yuzhen  was only 19 years old when she got married and moved to Ordos.
 
What greeted her first was the sands from Mu Us Desert.
 
SOUNDBITE 1 (CHINESE): YIN YUZHEN, National Labour Model 
 
"The sand seemed endless. When the temperature was high, the sands got so shiny even to hurt your eyes. And the wind was so strong that I was so afraid that it would blow me away."
 
Ordos used to be one of the most vulnerable ecological region in China.
 
For decades, the city invested in tree-planting teams with the belief that they can protect their homes.
 
But the reality was brutal. 
 
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) ZHANG XIWANG, Villager 
 
"We started with digging, and it can take half an hour to dig a planting hole. The survival rate was low, only 10 to 20 percent."
 
2000 was a year that Ordos people could never forget. In this year, the city began to create a green miracle.
 
Ordos people constantly explored a series of new technologies, new methods and tree seeds for their dream to eliminate desertification.
 
Salix psammophila, a unique shrub growing in desert regions, has high ecological value against wind sand and drought. But it was considered uneconomical for vast planting.
 
In 1998, a research team from Ordos found a new process, to process the plant seeds into sheet paper materials, which widely broadened its market value.
 
SOUNDBITE 7(Chinese): WANG WENBIAO, Chairman of  Elion Resources Group Ltd.   
"The desert can turn green! Desert land can be used! The desert sunshine industry has great potential! The people living in the desert can also get rich!"
 
Taking desertification control as an opportunity, Ordos found the balance between industry and agriculture, and realized the possibility of coexistence of both environment protection and development.
 
Now, Ordos turns to a desert oasis, with barren hills planted with trees.
 
The Mu Us Desert almost disappeared. And the Kubuqi Desert almost stopped moving.