For over twenty years, Dispenser Amenities has worked very hard to make a real difference in environmental issues, from our core mission of introducing amenity Dispensers aimed at reducing plastic hotel waste to supporting green initiatives such as The Plastic Pollution Coalition. Naturally, we are always on the lookout for projects that strive to implement effective and environmentally sound strategies. The Three-North Shelterbelt Project in China does exactly that.
What is the Three-North Shelterbelt Project?
The problem China faced was increased desertification along China’s northern border with Mongolia due to a combination of dust storms blowing in from the Gobi Desert, and tree removal as a result of mining operations and clearing farmland. The shelterbelt project, also known as “The Great Green Wall,” was started in 1978 to combat this growing issue.
The project consists of a concerted effort to plant a wall of trees along China’s border with the Gobi Desert. Just as the Great Wall historically helped to keep Mongolia’s human invaders at bay, the Great Green Wall promises to keep desertification at bay. Through a combination of cash incentives, aerial seeding, and more, China has managed to plant billions of new trees along its northern border.
Does it Work?
China’s shelterbelt project is not the first of its kind, however it is the largest. Another similar initiative was pioneered in the U.S. from 1934 to 1942. Millions of trees were planted to create the Great Plains Shelterbelt, a project that survives to this day and provides relief from dust storms to farmers and families stretching from Canada to Texas. China’s project represents a massive scaling up of this proven concept.
What Are the Benefits?
By undertaking this project, China is moving to secure a greener future for its citizens. These trees provide a wind break and help to shield the southern territories from sandstorms that blow in from the north. Already, territories within the Great Green Wall region have noticed a reduction and even reversal of the effects of desertification. Leading scientists within China have noted an increase of vegetation within the region and a reduction in dust storms frequency and intensity.
This project is proving to be a highly effective solution to a massive environmental problem. In fact, it represents one of the largest responses by a national government to an environmental threat: something that we at Dispenser Amenities believe more national governments should take note of. It is only through significant collective efforts such as these that we can reduce and even eliminate the environmental damage inflicted on our planet over centuries of neglect.
Taking inspiration from America’s and China’s projects, nations in Africa have taken note of the success and have launched projects called the Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (collectively known as GGWSSI). With efforts such as these, the future is certainly looking a whole lot greener – pun intended.