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CHINA, February 22, China.org.cn -- China is to host a United Nations meeting on fighting desertification in September, an official said Sunday.

About 1,400 delegates from 195 parties to a UN special convention on desertification will gather in Ordos, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, from early to mid-September, said Zhang Yongli, deputy head of the State Forestry Administration, at a press conference.

They will discuss national goals and action plans to realize zero net land degradation, whereby land degradation is either avoided or offset by land restoration, by 2030, Zhang told reporters.

China's desertified area was reduced by 12,120 square kilometers from 2009 to the end of 2014, while its area of sandified land dropped 9,902 square kilometers during the period, official monitoring showed.

According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, 12 million hectares of land are lost to desertification every year across the globe and the figure could rise due to population growth, climatic pressure and unsustainable farming practices.

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