BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- As a Chinese ballad goes, "under boundless sky, on vast prairies, herds of cows and sheep emerge when the wind blows and grass lowers," it is descriptive of the landscape in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
However, at the end of the last century, over-grazing, expanding farms and population pressure, coupled with drought and other natural disasters, led to the desertification of many parts of Inner Mongolia.
The ecological conditions of the region make a big difference not only to the people here, but to the ecological security of north China and the entire country.
To build Inner Mongolia as a shield of ecological security for north China, two methods for ecological protection have been applied since 2014 -- firstly major ecological restoration projects, such as the sandstorm source control program and return of marginal farmland to forest and grazing land to grassland; and secondly the speeding up of institution building concerning ecological protection.
Since then, Inner Mongolia's ecological protection has been on a fast track, with more efforts in desert control, grassland protection and water and soil preservation.
Photo taken on July 17, 2017 shows Mongolian yurts in Hulun Buir grassland, in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Lian Zhen)