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One of the best practices of shifting sands fixation: under the unified organization of the local government departments, farmers and herdsmen who carry out desertification control would receive subsidies.

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Land desertification and sandification is one of the world's most serious ecological problems, and will lead to decline of land productivity, deterioration of the ecological environment, intensify poverty and ecological disaster, and thus seriously restrict the regional economic and social sustainable development.

China is one of the countries with the world's most serious land desertification and sandification, and also obtains the most significant achievements of desert prevention and transformation. Especially since the beginning of the 21st century, China has realized a series of major breakthroughs in desertification: it has issued the world's first law on desert prevention, carried out desert prevention and control of the government responsibility system with Chinese characteristics, planned and controlled desertification districted land in an overall manner, started up large projects to promote integrated control, continuously made innovation and promotion of practical technologies and modes, built multi input mechanism giving priority to the central financial investment with the support of local and social participation, carried out dynamic monitoring and evaluation of land desertification and sandification, established sandstorm disaster emergency disposal system, and implemented a wide range of international exchanges and cooperation on sand prevention and control.

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In Guangxi, the local government has screened out a large number of tree species for afforestation on rockery mountains, explored more than 10 control modes, such as “bamboo + Zenia insignis” and “Zenia insignis + Lonicera japonica”, and set up more than 100 control demonstration units.

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Figure 1 Zenia insignis tree planting mode in Laibin,Guangxi/photo by Wei Jiankang

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Ever since the comprehensive rocky desertification control project for karst areas started in 2008, 1.89 million hectares of forests have been planted, which contributes to the preliminary control in the rocky desertification from previously constant expansion to currently net reduction. According to the monitoring report, by the end of 2011, China recorded a total area of 12.002 million hectares of rocky desertification lands, decreasing by 960,000 hectares from the figure in 2005, with an annual shrinkage of 160,000 hectares and reduction rate at 1.27%.

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Inner Mongolia Hexigten Banner is an animal husbandry banner county located in the northwest of Chifeng and the south margin of Daxinganling Mountains and to the east of Hunshadake Sandy Land. Due to long-term overgrazing, its grasslands suffer productivity decline and serious land degradation. In 2002, the government advocated taking rest gazing and rotation grazing measures in pastoral areas, farming-pastoral areas and conditional areas, subsidizing pastoral household with foods and funds and implementing the rotation grazing zoning project, with the aims to promote vegetation recovery, improve ecological environment and reduce poverty through scientific management and sustainable utilization of grasslands.

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