Starting from Kubuqi, Opening a Green Era
Secretary-General of the Kubuqi International Desert Forum
Distinguished leaders and guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Bearing the righteous cause of afforestation in mind, we are gathering here today to plan for a green future. On behalf of the secretariat of the Forum and those who are bent on desertification control, I would like to extend warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to you.
Trapped in this vast desert, I can't help asking this question: What does desert mean to us humans? In my opinion, desert is our human being's common guilt, common challenge, common wealth and common hope.
Desert is the common guilt of us all. According to statistics, except for natural primeval deserts, most of the deserts have been caused by humans. For example, Kubuqi Desert used to be a prairie with plenty of water and lush grass more than 2000 years ago which completely became a desert only 200 years ago due to wars, estrepement and excessive grazing. So, desert is human's crime against the nature. It is excusable for our forefathers to leave the deserts for us due to historical reasons and technical deficiency. However, it would be absolutely unforgivable for us to turn a blind eye to the facts and hand the deserts down to our children.
Desert is the common challenge of the mankind.
Desert is one of the factors leading to the poverty. 3/5 of the impoverished people of the world and 1/3 of the poverty-stricken population of our country live in deserts. Desert is one of the factors leading to the war. Desertification, ethnic issues and religion are the three “root causes of war”. Most of the war-scarred regions in today's
world are suffering from serious desertification.
Desert is one of the factors leading to the pollution. Desert is the “cancer of the earth”. We cannot ignore the sand-dust when hazes happen. And poverty, war and pollution are the three major challenges faced by today's humans. Therefore, the mankind must get a deeper understanding of desert through joint consideration.
Desert is the common wealth of the mankind. According to the dialectics emphasized by traditional Chinese philosophy, every cloud has a silver lining, and Desert is the good example. Desolation of deserts means vast space resources; the lack of rainfall stands for abundant sunshine and heat resources; the complicated formation of deserts implies rich underground resources; and the unique vegetations in deserts are rare food and medicine resources. In terms of heat and light alone, according to American scientists, each square kilometer of desert may produce 4 million kWh of power a year. That is to say, Kubuqi Desert alone may meet 1/8 of the power demand of the entire country. What an attractive treasure that is waiting for our exploration and development!
Desert is the common hope of the mankind. Recently, NASA announced the discovery of Kepler 452B, a terrestrial planet. The whole world went crazy by the news, calling the planet “another earth”, and took it as the hope for human's continued existence. I admire human being's courage to explore the universe. But what I would like to say is that, compared to placing our hope on the outer space, it would be better to look at the desert. 1/4 of the total land area of the earth is desert, and nearly all of it has not yet been exploited. Compared with Kepler 452B 1400 light years away, the desert is just around our corner. In contrast to the costly development of the universe exploration, desert development is almost at our fingertips! Therefore, desert deserves to be called hope of the mankind!
This is the desert in an abstract sense as I understand. Next, I would more like to share with you the desert under our feet — the Kubuqi Desert.
Sometimes I just can't believe that we have been trying to bring the desert under control for 30 years. I was born in this desert. Looking at today's Kubuqi, I often recall what it was like 30 years ago. Three were three things that I will never forget about the Kubuqi in my childhood.
First, sandstorms happened here almost every day. Once when I was over 10 years old, I could not find my way home in daytime due to the sandstorm, and it took my parents a whole day to find me.
Second, we had no chance to see the world outside. I was admitted to a key middle school. But isolated by the desert, I had to study at a farm middle school nearby. As a result, I am not good at finance and cannot make as much money as Jack Ma do.
Third, there were hunger and poverty. In the 1950s and the 1960s, my family barely made ends meet with corn and sorghum.
With the lingering nightmare of the desert, my fellow villagers and I embarked on the predestined path to desertification control without any guidance. 30 years passed, and the meaning of desertification control has also silently changed.
At first, the aim of desertification control was to survive. 30 years ago, Elion was only a small salt plant located in the desert which might be devoured by sand-dust at any time. We had no way out but to try to control the desert for making living.
Later, development became the aim of desertification control. During our desertification efforts, we accidentally discovered the herbal medicine resources, sunshine, heat and land resources in the desert. We began to voluntarily engage in desertification control because of the chance of becoming well-off.
Now, desertification control is our mission. I was born in the desert, grew up in the desert, and struggle in the desert. As attached to desertification control, I will devote my life for it. My connection with the desert since I was born has made me to decide not only to spend my life to desertification control, but also to instruct my offspring to work on it.
30 years is nothing but a short span. Looking back at the past 30 years, I only did two things: innovation and industrialization.
Innovation is the sole of desertification control at Kubuqi. In the 30 years, we have always assiduously sought and facilitated innovation in three major areas:
The first one is technological innovation. We have developed more than 1,000 ecologically restored germplasm resources, made over 100 technological achievements and invented more than 100 technical packages.
The second one is innovation of mechanisms. We took the lead in adopting the PPP mode 30 years ago. Of course, we did not know this fashionable phrase. Through policy support from the government, farmers becoming shareholders of land and commercial actions of enterprises, we have realized the goals in turning the desert into green land, making enterprise stronger and making farmers well off.
The third one was model innovation. We have developed a commercial model characterized by “ecology + business”. I often call it “as we live in the desert, we should depend on it for a living”. We depend on the desert through desertification control, and then foster the control with what we get, thus realizing the mutual promotion and virtuous circle between desertification control and depending on the desert for a living and between ecology and business.
Based on innovation in the three respects, we have pressed ahead with desertification control through marketization and constantly facilitated the industrialized control of desertification.
Industrialization is the impetus of desertification control in at Kubuqi. In the 30 years, we have struggled to develop the desertification control industry, facilitated its growth and brought about the integration of industry, finance and networks with ecology at its core and the following 6 industries as its pillars.
1. Ecological restoration. From deserted land to saline-alkalized land, and rubbish
piles and sewage ditches in cities; and from Kubuqi to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hebei, Xinjiang, Gansu, Australia, the Middle East and Central Asia, Elion's biological restoration has constantly matured, grown stronger and going out to other regions and countries. What is worth mentioning is that we have also undertaken the ecological restoration projects of the Winter Olympics, Currently, we are sparing no efforts in making good preparations.
2. Ecological husbandry. Based on high-protein psammophyte resources, we develop
organic protein feed, and appropriately develop localized livestock and poultry breeding.
3. Ecological health. Develop the medicinal value of anti-desertification plants
according to circumstances. Plant more than 2 million Mu (about 133,333 ha) of liquorice and over 300,000 Mu (about 20,000 ha) of cistanche, develop liquorice throat clearing tablet, compound liquorice tablet, Sha Xiao Gan and other series of health products. Besides, we are also developing modern green and water-saving agriculture by using the world's leading technologies.
4. Ecotourism. With starry sky in desert, horse race, hot spring of ancient sea and other projects, we receive more than 200,000 person-times of tourists a year. Kubuqi is known as “the most beautiful star observation site in China” and “No. 1 desert hot spring in China”. Many cyber friends said that, the desolate wilderness, starry sky and historical sites at Kubuqi may not only offer extreme sensual pleasures but also trigger infinite thoughts.
5. Biological luminous energy. We are implementing an 11nMW biological PV project with the mode of power generation on the panels, grass planting between panels and sheep farming below the panels. We have built a 20MW power generation project in Pakistan in partnership with Zhongxing Group, and built a 50 MW luminous energy project in Gansu in partnership with Shenzhen Gold Sail Group.
6. Ecological industry. Vigorously develop organic feed and organic manure by making use of the cutting and management features of desert plants. It estimated that by 2020, the production scales of manure and feed will reach 10 million tons respectively.
It is just because of innovation and industrialization we have changed the “color” of the desert. More than 6000 square kilometers of green area is equal to 8 times of the size of Singapore.
It is just because of innovation and industrialization we have changed the ecological environment of the desert. The number of days with sand-dust has reduced by 95%, the rainfall has increased by 6 times, and the number of species has increased by 10 times.
It is just because of innovation and industrialization we have changed the “feature” of the desert people. Over 100,000 residents of the desert region have got rid of poverty and become well off. The tatty huts have become new villages of happy herdsmen.
It is also because of innovation and industrialization that we have realized the concerted development of ecology, economy and poverty alleviation, and developed a sustainable and replicable “Kubuqi mode”.
Ladies and gentlemen, my friends:
Desert control is an arduous historical task and is also the common historical mission of the mankind. It needs joint attention and joint efforts of the elites from around the world. Currently, green development is a world trend and the construction of ecological civilization in our country is now in full swing, and the “belt and road” strategy has got smoothly started. All these are offering golden opportunities for desert control, ecological restoration and green economy. Great times call for great undertakings. Now, I would like to propose the establishment of a global desert ecology alliance. In desertification control, we should pool global talents, global funds, global technologies, global wisdoms and global information, give play to resource agglomeration and resonance effects, to usher in a “green era” worthy of the history through sharing, conspiring, creating and win-win approaches.
Thank you all!