Greening activities in the Horqin Desert (China)
The Horqin Desert located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is the largest desert in China. Until about 20 years ago, most of the population lived a semi-agriculture and semi-animal husbandry lifestyle in which they farmed corn for animal feed while raising cows or goats on pasture land. However, the effects of drought completely transformed the once grassland into desert, resulting in serious issues such as a decline in agriculture and livestock productivity and growing damages caused by desertification.
The HCM Group began greening activities in the Horqin Desert in 2004 after endorsing the mission of the Green Network, an NPO. The first 10-year plan was launched by Hitachi Construction Machinery (China) in 2004, and by the end of this plan in 2014 vegetation had been planted on some 100,000m2 of desert land. Later, the second 10-year plan began in 2015, with the goal of planting vegetation on 130,000m2 of land in a separate area of the Horqin Desert. Since the start of this plan, Hitachi Construction Machinery (China) has been planting vegetation together with dealers to meet this goal.
Furthermore, Hitachi Construction Machinery (China) is promoting the restoration of vegetation on another 100,000m2 of land together with suppliers as the third 10-year plan. The restoration of forest and vegetation on a cumulative total of 330,000m2 of desert land will preserve biodiversity and lead to greater CO2 absorption and resource circulation.
Over the many years of these activities we have built strong relationships with the local government and people. Local revitalization realized through these activities because of the involvement of local people in such work as fence building, planting and maintenance has also contributed to community development. Some wild green pheasants and fox can be seen again in the location where these activities first took place, indicating that biodiversity has been restored as well.
The HCM Group will continue to promote greening activities in the Horqin Desert in order to resolve regional environmental issues and to balance improved quality of life with sustainability.