Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information CenterSouthern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center
HomeAbout UsCampaignsSouthern Mongolian WatchChineseJapaneseNewsLInksContact Us



Irresponsible cultivation causes desertification, environmental destruction threatens Beijing



China's official news --- Beijing Evening News

By Sun Hai-dong

August 21, 2004

Translation by SMHRIC

The lack of a project feasibility study and normally required environmental procedures did not stop Inner Mongolia’s Oasis Modern Agricultural Development Limited Liability Company (Oasis L.L.C.) from concluding terms for a large scale agricultural development project in Inner Mongolia’s Alshaa Right Banner. This is where Beijing’s sandstorms originate, an area where serious damage has been done to the eco-system. State Environmental Bureau vice president and spokesman Fan Yue commented that the western region’s eco-system is fragile and once destroyed, recovery would be very difficult.

Reportedly, in accordance with its initial contract signed with Alshaa Right Banner Government, Oasis L.L.C. initiated a massive agricultural development project in August 2001 proposing to use 40,000 mu (2,680 hectare) land including the already cultivated 10,000 mu (670 hectare) with a total investment of 30 million Yuan (3.75 million USD). During the project implementation, Oasis L.L.C. blindly opened up large areas of virgin land without taking into account the local natural conditions and having a solid cultivation plan. This not only has led to a series of cultivation failures but also turned large areas of land useless, creating an additional 2,100 mu (141 hectare) desert. On the scene, one could see the severe damage to the eco-system; randomly crossing driveways in widths of 8-12 meters and a large parcel of land cultivated earlier now totally turned to desert.

According to statistics, annual soil water volume of this area is only 9,176,600 cubic meters. To maintain a sustainable balance of water resources for development, this region’s irrigable area must not exceed 25,000 mu (1,675 hectare) even if the irrigation takes place in a strict economic manner. However, on-the-spot investigations reveal that the age-old and inefficient irrigation method, “flood irrigation” is being used, and this will permanently deplete the local water resources if the 40,000 mu (2,680 hectare) land is entirely opened up as specified by terms in the contract.



From Yeke-juu League to Ordos Municipality: settler colonialism and alter/native urbanization in Inner Mongolia

Close to Eden (Urga): France, Soviet Union, directed by Nikita Mikhilkov

Beyond Great WallsBeyond Great Walls: Environment, Identity, and Development on the Chinese Grasslands of Inner Mongolia

The Mongols at China's EdgeThe Mongols at China's Edge: History and the Politics of National Unity

China's Pastoral RegionChina's Pastoral Region: Sheep and Wool, Minority Nationalities, Rangeland Degradation and Sustainable Development

Changing Inner MongoliaChanging Inner Mongolia: Pastoral Mongolian Society and the Chinese State (Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

Grasslands and Grassland Science in Northern ChinaGrasslands and Grassland Science in Northern China: A Report of the Committee on Scholarly Communication With the People's Republic of China

The Ordos Plateau of ChinaThe Ordos Plateau of China: An Endangered Environment (Unu Studies on Critical Environmental Regions)
 ©2002 SMHRIC. All rights reserved. Home | About Us | Campaigns | Southern Mongolian Watch | News | Links | Contact Us