China - Project on afforestation, forestry research, planning and development in the Three North Region

Project code


Project duration


Combating desertification in the Korqin sandy lands through integrated afforestation

This site provides summarized information on the problems of soil erosion and desertification in the Korqin Sandy Lands in China, and describes integrated restauration and reforestation strategies carried out through a Government Cooperation Project between the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Belgium, and implemented by FAO from 1991 to 2002.

The project started in April 1991, with an expected duration of six years. Following review, assistance was extended for a second phase of five years. The second phase was ended in December 2002. The project results and achievements have now been transfered to the Chinese implementing agency, the Three North Region Afforestation Bureau, under the State Forestry Administration.

In its twelve years of implementation, the project helped made significant advances in applied research on forest resources conservation and sustainable development. Some twenty scientific research programmes were completed, including the introduction, selection and breeding of poplars and conifers for plantation on sandy lands; introduction and improvement of mechanized equipment; and the conservation and integrated management of native forest resources on sandy lands. Around 200 ha of demonstration plots were established with superior poplar clones and pines, with about 10 000 ha of protection and commercial forests. In parallel, provenance trials started to identify more than 20 poplar varieties and 10 conifer species for further introduction, testing and propagation. The introduced unique germplasm contributed to enriching the present and potential wood resources in the arid area of the Korqin Sandy Lands. The project also collated results to provide a number of technical afforestation and revegetation models potentially suitable for application at a much wider scale in northern China. These results were presented and discussed during a national conference planned in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia, in August 2002, and summarized in a Technical project review document (see below).

The project worked closely with national and international, individual and institutional counterparts, and benefited from strong support from the Belgian and Chinese Governments. Its results have found direct applications in a number of other private and public projects and programmes.


The information has been provided by the project management team, and is their responsibility and does not necessarily reflect the position of FAO, the Government of China, or the Government of Belgium.
last updated:  Wednesday, September 24, 2014