I am the sand on the land of Three-North.
What is Three North? Three-North is a reference to Northwest, North and Northeast China. Over the past 40 years, people have been interlocked in a battle against sand on this land. Relief finally came when the “Green Great Wall” was built, also referred to as the “Three- North Shelterbelt”.
From the 1960s to the end of the 1970s, there were about 6.7 million hectares of desertified land in the Three-Northern regions. There were eight deserts, four types of sand and the vast Gobi. My brothers and sisters were spread everywhere. From the east to the west, the wind sand line ran from Heilongjiang to Xinjiang, swallowing people’s lives, sweeping over crops and rivers and in the sky. The frequent sandstorms are an open declaration of war against mankind. We have won in the struggle again and again, and we also enjoy the pleasure brought by this tyranny.
Finally, people could not bear it. At the beginning of reforms and opening-up, the construction of Three North Shelterbelts was started. This is the first major ecological project in China and the largest ecological construction project in the world.
The plan is to last 73 years and cover 13 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities.
The project area is 4.069 million square kilometers, accounting for 42.4% of China’s land area;
Since 2014, the average annual sandstorm days in the project area have decreased from 6.8 days to 2.4 days.
From 1978 to 2050, the Three-North Shelterbelt Project is to be carried out in three stages and seven phases.
In 2020, the fifth phase of the Three-North Shelterbelt Project system will be completed. Over the past 40 years, more than 30 million hectares of trees have been planted and 336,000 square kilometers of desertified land have been controlled.
The historic transformation from “sand forcing humans to retreat” to “trees forcing sand to retreat” has been achieved.
In 2050, it is estimated that the afforestation area will reach 35,7 million hectares and the forest coverage rate in the three-north areas will increase from 5.05% to 15.95%.
At first, we didn't pay attention to them, thinking that it was a futile resistance. However, 40 years later, I have lost many of my brothers and sisters and the desertification area is shrinking year by year, replaced with the lush greenery.
The land of the Three-North regions is vast and rich in resources. Once upon a time, we were just common sand in the ecosystem. Agricultural civilization led to a population boom. The plundering humans who fought one war after the other and climate change gave us opportunities to thrive. Just when we were “high spirited” and enjoying our success, a large number of trees have sprung up threatening us. A green Great Wall has been formed. Afforestation has continued at a rapid pace.
The “advance and retreat war” between man and sand seems to be a “contest” between two mighty opponents. But man and sand, sand and greenery are never antagonistic, but symbiotic. In the law of nature, it is only by finding their respective positions in the ecological balance that we can realize the treasure of green waters and green peaks.
監 制：戴 凡
編 導：劉璟 吳婧 白玥 孫磊 高志偉 佟明月