The sixth Kubuqi International Desert Forum was held from July 28 to July 30 in the Kubuqi Desert in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. Participating guests from other countries visited Kubuqi and witnessed the successful practices of Kubuqi’s desertification control. The forum offered them better understanding of the Kubuqi Model. They believe that the Kubuqi Model will play an important role in desertification control in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative. International conferences held in China are becoming attractive platforms for sharing effective experiences in promoting global ecological development.
Effective systematic planning
The core pillars of the Kubuqi Model are government policy support, industrial investment, market-oriented participation of farmers and herdsmen and sustainable ecological improvement.
Many countries along the Belt and Road Initiative suffered desertification, and that good design plays a key role in helping China create the Kubuqi Model, a unique path of desertification control. Said Pradeep Monga, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.He also said that with joint efforts, the public sectors and private sectors have introduced an innovative mode for desertification control. It empowers the land with greater productivity. It contributes to a sustainable development and creates more employment opportunities." I'm very glad to witness the real achievements Kubuqi solution has secured." he said.
“It is amazing! “Antonis Samaras, Former Greek Prime Minister said,“I see that human beings could turn desert into oasis. This is a miracle. They could transform the nightmare into perspective, with plenty of joy and hope. Therefore I would like to say congratulations to China.”
A globally popular model
The Kubuqi Model has been praised by the UN Environment Programme for desertification control and being an “eco-pioneer” in greening the world thanks to its success in ecological restoration. The Kubuqi Model has become a name card for China’s desertification control efforts. In order to promote and share the experience of combating desertification, the Kubuqi International Desert Forum was established in 2007 and has been held five times thanks to the support of governments at all levels, relevant departments, the UN Eviroment and the UNCCD secretariat. More than 2,000 political dignitaries, experts and ecological entrepreneurs from around the world have participated in field trips, professional exchanges and experience sharing via forums and benefited greatly from them.
The Kubuqi Model has become a popular topic in several meetings and dialogues of the sixth Kubuqi International Desert Forum. Participating foreign guests believed that the Kubuqi Model should be widely shared in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.
Prof. Atsushi Tsunekawa from Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University in Japan, said it was urgent for countries along the Belt and Road Initiative to cooperate over ecological restoration. They need to conduct risk assessment for environmental and sustainable development.
Elvis Paul Tangem, the coordinator from The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Intiative, Africa Union Commission,said that it's always a dream of his to witness in person what Kubuqi has achieved in antidesertification，which he had never seen before, which completely changed his perception.
"I'm very impressed, and motivated." said Arslanbek Omurzakov, Deputy director of Center for Study of the Silk Road, Kyrgyzstan, “after hearing about Kubuqi's experience in antidesertification，the change is not only imposed on eco-system, but also on the whole society, which makes it sustainable. ”He wishes the technology could be introduced to more countries or enterprises.
Shafqat Kakakhel, Chairman of Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Islamabad Pakista said: Kubuqi model is a miracle of modernization,and this success hinges on the will of the Chinese government. He said that according to China's Kubuqi experience can draw the following conclusions: first it need a political commitment. Which is impetus from top political leaders. Second, there is a proper policy. Thirdly, there should be appropriate political institutions. Moreover, it need to promote science and technology. Finally, the most important is participation from community and individuals in all aspects of society.
Kubuqi brings hope
Desert control is a worldwide problem, and the Kubuqi Desert is the first desert in the world to achieve large-scale successful control.
The success of Kubuqi Model relies mainly on increasing local people’s income in the greening efforts via the combination of ecology and industry, enterprise development and ecological management. These efforts will expand oases and happiness while reducing desert and poverty.
Prof. Victor Squires from the University of Adelaide, Australia, said the Kubuqi International Desert Forum had prompted people in all areas to think about desertification, and that the Kubuqi Model has made it impossible to find just one solution to the challenge by showing that land users are both part of the problem and part of the solution. The Kubuqi Model also provides a way for transformation, which gives us hope.
British Bio-Carbon engineering company founder and CEO Lauren Fletcher said that Kubuqi’s achievements in desertification control was very impressive and the delegation from his company felt excited for participating in the forum. He also said that drones tree planting technologies need to be further developed so as to contribute to combating desertification.
These achievements point out the direction for desertification control and hope it will achieve greater success in the future to help the 2 billion hectares desertification worldwide.
A Chinese expertise to ecological restoration
After the forum ended, experts believed the forum let participants see that Kubuqi’s concept of green development and experiences of sustainable development can offer fundamental solutions to help peaceful development of the desertification regions involving over 2 billion people globally. Many guests are looking forward to the 13th General Assembly of the Contracting Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, which will be held in Ordos and might bring together more unique solutions and richer consensus. The ecological development in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative need both Chinese expertise as well as China being one sharing platform.