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APFNet helped Chinese forestry officers better understand land degradation and desertification

During 18-20 September 2018, APFNet organized a training for forestry officers in China on land degradation and combating desertification in collaboration with China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA). 88 forestry officers responsible for combating desertification from county-level forestry bureaus from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Gansu Province attended the training in State Academy of Forestry Administration in Beijing.


APFNet brought an international view on combating desertification by inviting Dr. Victor Squires, ecologist and senior scientist on dryland ecosystems from Australia, to the training. Dr. Squires shared with the participants case studies of two developed economies, i.e. Australia and South Africa. Instead of dwelling on technical interventions, Victor drew experiences and lessons at a broader scale from the two case studies. He emphasized the importance of legislation, cross-sectoral cooperation and participation of local people in arresting and reversing land degradation. 


Dr. Victor Squires, in the middle, sharing cases of Australia and South Africa on combating desertification

Following his presentation, APFNet facilitated the discussion, which focused on how to work with the local people to make combating desertification more effective in practice. One message highlighted in the discussion is let the local farmers themselves be the caretakers of the land.


This training is in series, which started in 2016 as cooperation between APFNet and NFGA under the Trainers in Forestry Network of APFNet (see news of previous trainings in 2016  and 2017 ). The trainings aim to provide forestry officers at the grassroots level in China opportunities to understand updated policies and practices in topical issues in forestry. 

For more information about Victor's presentation, please see document (Approach to land degradation APFNet.pdf).