URUMQI — Aksu prefecture in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region plans to plant about 70,000 hectares of trees to stop the country’s largest desert Taklamakan from further expanding.
The local forestry department expects planting to be completed in 2020.
About 3.4 million people in Aksu, on the northern edge of Taklamakan, have planted nearly 13.4 million trees since 1986. Forests in Aksu now account for 6.8 percent of land in the prefecture.
The Taklamakan Desert covers an area of more than 330,000 square kilometers. The average humidity has increased by 4 percent over the past decade as a result of new forests.