Entrepreneur brings color to the desert

Monday, October 8, 2012

A man-made oasis in China’s seventh biggest desert, Kubuqi, on the southern bank of the Yellow River, has been the backdrop for several international environmental events this year.

Amina Mohamed, deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said at the launch of the Chinese edition of Global Environment Outlook-5 (GEO-5) that the place was chosen to showcase the success of the Kubuqi Desert control mode and encourage its worldwide replication.

He was speaking on Sept 4 at a convention center built in the oasis.

For international environmentalists, it is not just building a big stretch of greenery in the desert that has made this oasis but also the initiator’s creativity. He used commercial funding rather than governmental financing or charity money, developing sustainable clean energy industries. He also got local people involved in both the businesses and the environmental protection cause.

The initiator of the anti-desertification work, Wang Wenbiao, a 54-year-old entrepreneur, is a native of the arid land who remembers smelling dust and sand in the air and eating food mixed with sand.

Wang’s private firm started in 1997 to build the first road running through the desert in the northern Inner Mongolia autonomous region. In order to consolidate the roadbed, Wang and his colleagues planted low water use plants and grass alongside it.

Source: China Daily (link opens in a new window)

Environment, Impact Assessment