A green innovation center was launched in Beijing on June 29, boosting eco-friendly cooperation and joint economic development between China and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Supported by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Belt and Road Innovation Center for Desert Green Economy will focus on ecosystem restoration in desert areas based on technology and private sectors, according to Nara Luvsan, head of Central Asia Office of UNEP.
She said the center will conduct situation analysis, including stocktaking and recommendations for countries including China, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.
In addition, an inter-regional workshop, a new database and a private sector working group will be built to boost the green economy.
“The establishment of the center will help pass on China’s anti-desertification experiences to the world and deepen cooperation on a green economy,” said Zhang Jianlong, head of the State Forestry and Grassland Administration.
Desertification, often referred to as “cancer of the earth”, has been a challenge for many countries and regions. In 1994, the General Assembly of the UN adopted the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
According to the administration, the area of desertified land in China has shrunk by 2,424 square kilometers annually during the past decade.
One of the most outstanding examples that reveals China’s success of the anti-desertification campaign is Elion Resources Group, which has been recognized by the UN for its development of a desert eco-industry that has slowed desertification.
In Kubuqi, China’s seventh-largest desert, located in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Elion has “greened”600,000 hectares of land and helped to lift more than 102,000 people out of poverty.
“China has been recognized as a model in the fight against desertification, and Elion’s experience of developing local economies and improving people’s living conditions through innovation of the green economy should be spread to more places in need,” said Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
“It will be exciting to see how an ecological civilization will be put into action, not just in China but in China’s work abroad — notably the Belt and Road Initiative, which will bring new opportunities for joint development and cooperation among countries involved,” he said.