China, Arab countries to establish research center for desertification, land degradation

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DUBAI: Government representatives from China and Arab countries have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a jointly run international research center to tackle drought, desertification, and land degradation.

The inking of the agreement took place at the ninth Kubuqi International Desert Forum on Saturday in Inner Mongolia.

The deal outlines the launch of several projects including the planting of 10 billion trees, the establishment of a shrub nursery, and the construction of eco-solar desert control engineering projects in Saudi cities.

Participants at the forum, which included representatives from UN agencies, foreign political figures, and leaders from relevant ministries and commissions, noted that China’s desertification control had helped to improve the ecological and economic conditions of sandy areas.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said: “I had the privilege of visiting the extraordinary landscapes of the Ordos region.

“I witnessed first-hand the remarkable socioeconomic and ecological restoration, an inspiring example for the regions around the world struggling against land degradation, desiccation, and decimation.”

Mahmoud Fathallah, the Arab League’s director of environmental and meteorology affairs, said the output of science research was critical in combating desertification which China had extensive experience in.

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