French journalist René Vandergoten has shared with CDT his photographs from a recent trip to northwestern China, which beautifully depict the struggle of local farmers against the encroaching desert:
Min Qin is an oasis located between the deserts of Tengger and Badain Jaran in Gansu province, Northwest China. Because of massive desertification, poor rains, sand storms and dreadful use of water for agriculture, Min Qin is shortening by 10 meters each year and may disappear soon. Central government is taking action by experimenting with methods to prevent sand from moving or by pushing peasants on the edge of the desert to leave their desertified lands, while some NGOs meet farmers to teach them how to make better use of water. The population is 300 000.