Saihanba forest farm wins UN pact's Land for Life Award in China

The Saihanba mechanized forest farm, the world's largest artificial plantation, in north China's Hebei Province, has won the 2021 Land for Life Award in the national category at a ceremony held during the 8th Kubuqi International Desert Forum.

The Land for Life Award is designed by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for individuals, communities and programs making outstanding contributions to the recovery and restoration of degraded landscapes worldwide.

In 2017, the Saihanba afforestation community won the UN Champions of the Earth Award for its outstanding contribution to transforming degraded land into a lush green paradise.

Saihanba was once a royal hunting ground of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), but by the late 1950s, it had degraded into an area of barren wilderness. And the forestry ministry then decided to build an artificial forest farm to block the southward movement of sandland in 1962.

Thanks to consistent efforts by three generations of Saihanba foresters over the past 59 years, the deteriorating trend of local ecology has been reversed.

Now, with a total forest landscape of about 76,700 hectares, Saihanba has become a national forest park and nature reserve as well as an important ecological shield for Beijing and adjacent regions.

(Cover image: Early autumn in Saihanba, north China's Hebei Province. /VCG)

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