"WE NEED CHINESE EXPERIENCE VERY MUCH"
In 2017, the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed a memorandum of understanding with the Pan-African Agency for the Great Green Wall on promoting the ecological environment in Africa.
The "Great Green Wall" initiative, launched in 2007 and led by the African Union, plans to build a shelterbelt spanning more than 8,000 km across Africa, from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east, in order to prevent the Sahara Desert from expanding southward.
Zhou Na, an assistant researcher at the XIEG, and her colleagues have traveled back and forth between the Taklamakan Desert and the Sahara Desert to share their experience with African people.
She said it is her wish to "bring China's experience to Sahara, promote green development, and improve the livelihood of African people."
In recent years, she and her colleagues have adopted different strategies according to local conditions: sand control and quicksand fixation technology in Mauritania; ecological restoration of shrub grassland in Ethiopia; and technical support for sustainable management and protection of a shelterbelt in Nigeria.
Mohamed El Houssein Mohamed Legraa, director of the National Agency of the Great Green Wall of Mauritania, spoke highly of China's technical support.
"The Chinese are ahead in the fight against desertification. They have turned deserts into forests," he said. "Here in Mauritania, we are suffering from desertification, low rainfall and the impact of climate change. Therefore, we need Chinese experience very much."