Course:FRST370/2021/Management and Governance regimes of afforestation in Inner Mongolia, China

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The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is one of the most culturally diverse areas in China. In order to protect the cultural value and minorities' rights to their land, Inner Mongolia is regarded as an autonomous region instead of a province. In terms of administrative power, Autonomous Regions and provinces have the same power. However, when it comes to the specific affair, autonomous regions have more self-determination. The aim of setting up autonomous is to give minorities more freedom to rule themselves and decide what happens on their land. However, population explosion, increasing crop demand, government policy of advocating for economic growth force more land conversion. Especially more forest lands transform into cropland to satisfy social needs. Land degradation increases desertification in some areas like the Alxa League that is adjacent to the Gobi region, which brought intense and frequent sandstorms.

Keywords: Inner Mongolia, Afforestation, Stakeholders, Minorities, Ant Forest

This conservation resource was created by Course:FRST370.

History and Background

Geographic location and history of Inner Mongolia, China

Map of Inner Mongolia

Inner Mongolia is located in the northern part inland of China. It covers a total area of 1.183 million square kilometres, accounting for %12.3 of China's land area, making it the third-largest province in China. It is adjacent to Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia and Gansu provinces in the east, south and west, crossing the three north China (northeast, North China, northwest China), and close to Beijing and Tianjin. It borders Mongolia and Russia in the north and has two important ports, Erlianhot and Manzhouli. The border is 4,200 kilometres long. [1]Inner Mongolia has always been occupied by the Mongolian minority since time immemorial. 1947, at the Inner Mongolia People's Congress, 393 people from Mongolia, Daur, Ewenki, Han, Manchu, Hui, Zhuang and other ethnic groups from most of Inner Mongolia's Mengqi attended the meeting. The meeting passed a resolution establishing the Autonomous government of Inner Mongolia, which included Chahar and Xing’an provinces and parts of Ningxia, Rehe, Heilongjiang, and Suiyuan provinces. [1]

Forestry resources

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region from the east to the west has the Great Hinggan Mountains original forest and 11 pieces of secondary forest (great Hinggan Mountains in the south, Baogeda Mountain, Diyan Temple, Han Mountain, Keshiketeng, Majing dam, Daqingshan, Manhan Mountain, Wula mountain, Helan Mountain, Ejin secondary forest), as well as the long-term construction of artificial forest(afforestation program). According to the results of the seventh forest resources inventory in 2013, the woodland area of the whole region is 660 million mu, and the forest area is 373 million mu, ranking first in the country, and the forest coverage rate is 21.03%; Afforestation has preserved an area of 97.32 million mu. The total stock of living trees is 1.484 billion cubic meters, and forest stock is 1.345 billion cubic meters, both ranking fifth in China. The natural forests are mainly distributed in 11 secondary forests, such as the original forests of The Greater Khingan Mountains in Inner Mongolia and the southern mountains of the Greater Khingan Mountains. The artificial forests are all over the region. The whole area is rich in tree species, such as poplar, willow, elm, sylvestris sylvestris, Pinus tabulaeformis, larch, birch, quercus and other trees and caragana, Nitraria, apricot, caragana korshinskii, Salix, haloxylon, Poplar, sea buckthorn and other shrubs.[2]

Environmental problems

Desertification in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Gobi Desert is the main source of dust from Asia, which brings negative impacts to the downwind region of East Asia and even globally. Inner Mongolia is located in the southeastern edge of the Gobi, the transitional zone between forests and grasslands in the semi arid. Alxa, located in this transitional zone, has the world's largest dunes: sand mountains that often top 1,200 vertical feet (365.8 vertical meters). Moreover, water made salt by chlorides leached from the sand and left in high concentrations by evaporation. The annual deforestation rate was 2.67% to 3.36% due to a lack of forest protection laws. [3]

Chinese scientists are puzzling out how to stanch the desert's steady growth. According to the Institute of Desert Research, land degradation costs the nation 6.7 billion dollars a year and affects the lives of 400 million people. Current estimates say that 950 square miles (2,461 square kilometres) of land become desert every year—a 58% increase since the 1950s—much of its land that formerly supported crops and livestock. Increasing the number of people in an area places incremental pressure on land through farming, construction, road building, and other human activity. Add to this increasing water use and slight fluctuations in larger weather systems, and depletion of soil nutrients and desertification quickly become problems demanding great consideration.[3]

Due to lack of precipitation, dry climate, and climate change, Inner Mongolia is facing severe and frequent sand storms every year, which damage residents' health and crop yield. The sandstorm is also influencing cities like Beijing, Tianjin that adjacent to Inner Mongolia. To address these problems, China has launched a series of green projects during the past few decades.

Major Afforestation-related project in China

Three North Shelterbelt Project

The "Three North" shelterbelt project refers to the large-scale artificial forestry ecological project constructed in the three north regions of China (northwest, North and northeast China). In order to improve the ecological environment, the Chinese government decided in 1979 to list this project as an important project of national economic construction. The planning period of the project is 73 years, which is divided into eight phases. The sixth phase has been started.

On August 18, 2020, it was learned from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration that the fifth phase of the three-North shelterbelt system construction project will soon be completed. A total of 30.14 million hectares have been afforested and preserved in the three-North Project, and the forest coverage rate in the project area has increased from 5.05 percent to 13.57 percent.[4]

Beijing-Tianjin Sandstorm Source Control Project
A screeenshot about Ant Forest. Users can collect the ''Green energy' to plant trees.

The project is a national strategic program to reduce wind-sand damage by planting trees and grasses to increase forested areas. Close to 138 counties within Beijing, Tianjin Municipality, the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Shaanxi, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are participating in the project.[5]

Ant Forest

The cumulative carbon sink from afforestation projects includes plant biomass as well as soil organic carbon. Afforestation projects in China can offset carbon emissions to some extent. Afforestation projects were not originally designed as a means of mitigating climate change. However, reforestation projects have more important and immediate local and regional environmental benefits.[6]

On August 27, 2016, Alipay launched "Ant Forest". Ant Forest is an online virtual tree planting project that promotes low-carbon green living.[7] Helping the public to develop the habit of energy-saving and emission reduction. Promote sustainable development and ecological construction. People can participate in the public welfare aspect of Ant Forest in many ways. For example, there are up to 18 environmental behaviors, such as walking or driving public transportation. As of July 2019, 500 million people have participated in the program. The carbon emissions reduction reached 7.92 million tons.[8] The "Ant Forest" reforestation activities in the Alxa region are mainly aimed at curbing the increasing desertification in the Alxa desert region and gradually improving the sparse vegetation geography. 122 million real trees were planted in Alxa Ordos, and 1 million mu of sandy land was treated[8].

Tenure and bundle of rights

People's Republic of China

China has 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the central government, 2 special Administrative Regions. Generally, these administrative regions have similar political power, but they are different in some specific perspectives. China has 56 minorities, which Han minority accounts for more than 90% of the Chinese population. There are only 10% of other minorities, hence, they are considered as ''few people''. In order to protect minorities' culture, increase the portion of minorities in the Chinese population. Autonomous Regions are established under this background,5 Autonomous Regions are based in where most minorities are geographically located. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was established on 1st May 1947, which most population are Mongolian, Manchu, Hui, Daur, Wenke, Oroqen, Zhuang, Xibe, Tujia, Dongxiang. Major ethnic minorities in this region are nomadic people, their livelihood mostly relies on grassland. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is considered as another "province" most times, but it has more sense of self-determination most times. The Autonomous Region is still under the role of the central government, but it has more power in decision-making in terms of its internal affairs. The key idea here is to give local minorities more power to self-determinate as they are the "few people", which needs more protection in political decisions. People of minorities have the same right and same political status as other people.

Government Department of Forest Conservation

From 1947 to 1952, after China's Land Reform, forests in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, were redistributed to villagers from the landowners. According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on Land Administration, individuals had the right to manage, use, trade and lease their forests. [9] In 1953, Agricultural Cooperative Revolution began, the forests became communal owned. The community had collective ownership of the forests. Forests can be sold or leased under the approval of the community committee. In 1958, all forests become communal owned. Agricultural Cooperative Revolution caused huge damage to forests. The communities failed to manage the forests, and the efficiency of exploitation was low.  [10] Nowadays, all forests planted by afforestation programs belong to the state government. The leasehold can use and manage the forests until the tenure ends. All forests in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are under the rule of the Autonomous Region Government. In 2018, a new department called Inner Mongolia Forestry and Grassland Bureau was established to manage forest and grassland resources in Inner Mongolia, which is directly attached to the Autonomous Region Government. It has 12 departments in total, major departments include Desertification Control and Afforestation Branch, Forest Resources Management Branch, Protected Natural Areas Administration Office, State-owned Forest Farms and Seedling Administration Office. Responsibilities of IMFGB include supervision, management, organization, the guidance of afforestation program, as well as assisting local communities and minorities to conduct afforestation programs. [11]

Reasons of the change

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, forest lands were redistributed to local communities due to the policy "the state serves the people", in which people should have whole property rights in terms of forest land. At the same time, the Chinese population has increased at an incredible rate. Suddenly, the needs for crops and meat were increasing correspondently. As mentioned above, most people in Inner Mongolia are nomadic people and rely on herds. Therefore, more forest lands are transformed into grassland. Others were transformed to cropland to satisfy the needs for food due to population growth. Initially, More cropland and more herds brought considerable economic growth, contributing to the GDP of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. But this prosperity did not last for a long time, after a few decades. Due to adjacent to Gobi region, extreme climate and forest degradation brought frequent sandstorms and desertification. Water scarcity is also another problem caused by desertification. These problems posed threat to local crop yield and herds. Due to the lack of professionals and effective management plans, these problems last for a few years. Sandstorms even spread to the adjacent cities, like Beijing, which is the capital city of China. Therefore, the central government decides to intervene in local forestry management. Some lands, which become state-owned lands, were taken back by the central government under negotiation with local communities. IMFGB was established to manage these state-owned forests. Some forests were also regarded as collective forests, managed by local governments. After land were taken back, the afforestation plan will be assessed and some lands get replanted.

Land Tenure

Currently, forest lands in Inner Mongolia mainly have two categories, state-owned forest and community-owned forest. Families and companies can apply for using the state-owned forests to practice some afforestation programs designed by themselves and get benefit from afforestation. However, The state still claims the underlying rights to the state-owned forest, which means those families and companies only have the right to utilize those forests under the approval of the state government. Families and companies cannot lease or sell those forest lands, but any benefit they get from those forest lands still belongs to them. Using right usually is written in law through forest ownership certificate, ensuring different entities' using rights. Using rights here refer to access, withdrawal, management, etc in the bundle of rights. Only governments at the county level or State Forestry Department have the authority to approve Forest Ownership Certificate.[12] Families and companies can only plant trees where the state government is approved. Community-owned forests are usually co-managed, in which communities, local forestry departments, and people from outside co-manage those areas. Local communities have most strands in the bundle of rights, including alienation, which they can lease their lands to other entities and they get benefits from leasing. Land tenure lasts from 30 years to 70 years. In cases where local communities lease their land to other entities, local communities can decide the duration. Contracts will be signed between local communities and outsiders.

Strands in the bundle of right Stakeholder Groups
Government Local Communities Ant Forest Users
Access Yes Yes Yes
Withdrawal Yes Yes No
Management Yes Sometimes(related to tenure) Certain Conditions
Exclusion Yes Yes No
Alienation Yes Sometimes No
Duration Unlimited 30-70 years unknown
Bequeathment N/A No No
Extinguishability Yes Yes No

Administrative arrangements in Alxa League

Unlike another community forestry, in which people mostly care about provisioning ecosystem services, in Inner Mongolia, people mainly focus on regulating ecosystem services. This is the key difference between Inner Mongolia community forestry and another community forestry in the world. Alxa League, located in the eastern region of Inner Mongolia, is where most afforested forests are located. In most stand storm regions in Inner Mongolia, Alxa League experiences the most intense and frequent sandstorms annually because it is adjacent to Gobi Region. Most Afforestation projects are specifically designed for this area.

Administrative Arrangement of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

Who plans the afforestation project

The afforestation project in Alxa League is jointly managed by The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Forestry and Grassland Bureau, National Afforestation Committee, and Alxa League Natural Resource Administration. Upon Forest Law of the People’s Republic of China and The Law of the People's Republic of China on Regional Ethnic Autonomy, Forest Regulations for Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was amended and issued in 1986 and served as the basis for forest management in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

National Afforestation Committee was formed in 1982 to manage afforestation activities in China. It is responsible for assessing, planning, announcing, and collecting everything about afforestation. National Afforestation Committee decides where to plant trees, tree species, and people to participate. National Afforestation Committee has the highest level of authority in decision making but must be passed by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.[13]

Alxa League Natural Resource Administration

At the local level, Alxa League Natural Resource Administration is responsible for decision-making. Formerly, Alxa League Forest Department managed forest in Alxa League. In 2018, Alxa League Forest Department merged with other departments to form Alxa League Natural Resource Administration.[13]

Who access the environment that needs to be planted

National Forestry and Grassland Administration has the responsibility to assess the environment for tree planting. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Forestry and Grassland Administration need to cooperate their investigation to gain local assessment. The final decision was made by National Forestry and Grassland Administration.[13]

Which tree species that are planted

The chart below lists all plant species and conservation sites in Ant Forest in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Species are selected depending on their drought tolerance, suitability in the desert and their unique characteristics.[14]

Name Saxaul N/A Salt cedar desert poplar
Scientific name Haloxylon ammodendron Hedysarum scoparium Tamarix ramosissima Populus euphratica
Family Amaranthaceae Fabaceae Tamaricaceae Salicaceae
Number of sites in Ant Forest 8 3 4 4
Strength Strong succulent root system

Small leaves

Stabilize sand dune

Rapid growth

High drought resistance

Heat and cold tolerant

Tolerant for poor soil

Prefers sandy soil in full sun

Tolerant of saline and brackish water

Stabilize sand dune

Electronic Scarecrows in Alipay Ant Forest

Which groups of people participate in planting trees

Students and local communities are encouraged to participate in afforestation activities, under the supervision of The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Forestry and Grassland Administration. Military troops and local officers are mandatory to participate in afforestation activities.

The Ant Forest Program is different than other afforestation activities. China Green Foundation is the leader of the Ant Forest Program. China Green Foundation received funds from Ali Company. And then China Green Foundation gives saplings to local communities. Villagers are paid to plant trees in the designated field. [15] 

How to monitor if the project has been implemented

Drone working in Alxa Desert Ant Forest Field 5

The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Forestry and Grassland Administration has the responsibility to monitor afforestation projects. Forest public security is the patrol in the forest. Forest public security can enforce laws when necessary.[13]

Ant Forest is monitored by both labourers and some high-end technologies. The first technology is an electronic scarecrow. It is a monitor for agricultural purposes only. The electronic scarecrow can update the latest data every 15 minutes to the conservation officers. Electronic scarecrow can also live stream the forest conditions to every Ant Forest User. They record how the sapling grows and eventually becomes a mature tree. The second technology is a UAV drone. UAV aerial survey is an important method to monitor forests in the desert. The drone can draw topography maps and give virtual feedback to the conservation officers, ignoring the weather. Those two technologies support people to better work in the field.[15]

Affected Stakeholders

Local community

Local residents refer to non-minority communities. They are the people who live in the reforested areas. The activities of daily life and work of local residents revolve around the farms, grasslands and forests in the Northwest Territories. Most of them are Han Chinese, which is the main demographic composition of China. They may have lived here for generations, but have not lived here since ancient times.

As affected stakeholders, they are highly important but have low influence. The presence of local residents helps to establish protective forest belts. In addition, they play a positive role in the restoration of natural vegetation and ecological improvement on the eastern edge of the Tengger Desert. And they have promoted the development of the surrounding agriculture and livestock industry. The reason why they have little influence is because of the collective land ownership system. The main body of rural land ownership is clear, which is "collective ownership of peasants". In practice, however, there are many difficulties in the realization of collective land ownership. Due to the narrowness of the interests it represents, it is easily controlled by the administrative authorities. This is more damaging to the collective interests of peasants. The key to this situation consists mainly in the lack of mechanisms and ways to organize the collective rights of real landowners peasants.

Power analysis: low influence, high importance


Minorities have lived here since ancient times. They depend on the land for most of their livelihoods. Minorities are affected by native stakeholders because they are local communities that value their local forests. Most ethnic minorities are nomadic. But, as an example, the Daur is a forested minority. They depend on timber from neighboring forests to build their houses. Their long-term welfare is dependent on the surrounding forest or grassland resources as well. As nomads who depend on nature for their livelihoods, they value the presence of forests and are therefore one of the main affected stakeholders.

It is worth mentioning that most of the rights of minorities are written in law. In autonomous minority communities, ethnic minorities act as stakeholders whose rights are protected by law. But, Like the local population, they have high importance but little influence. This is because some strands in the bundle of rights are excluded, like exclusion. Some people may work for local government, thus, enter the political parties, but there are only a few in the whole government system. They do not have enough power in decision-making. Both them and the local communities are excluded from negotiations.

Power analysis: low influence, high importance

Interested Stakeholders

Chinese national government

Since 1978, a series of ecological projects implemented by the Chinese government has increased the forest area, and afforestation is one of the main activities of ecological projects. After more than half a century of continuous exploration and unremitting struggle, China has formed an experience and model of sand control supported by national policies, operated by enterprises, and participated by society. The objective of the Chinese national government is a win-win approach to combating desertification that places equal emphasis on ecology and economy, and on combating sand and poverty.[16]

Around 2000, China achieved zero growth in desertified land, and after that, desertified land continued to grow negatively for more than ten years. Many land conservation projects emerged and land degradation was reduced. Since then Inner Mongolia has seen a net forest growth. The net forest growth demonstrates the changes in China's environmental policies and governance systems over the past decades.[16]

Power analysis: high influence, low importance

Dairy company

Ethnic traditional dairy products have always had a long and unique history. Inner Mongolia is the main dairy producing area in China nationwide. The dairy companies there are often located in the prime milk supply belt. Relying on a good advantageous base, they set standards to strictly control milk sources. However, due to reforestation projects, the grasslands where some dairy companies used to raise cows are now forests. This leads them to have the problem of unstable milk supply and a high entry barrier in the industry. To some extent, this affects their income.

Dairy products are marketed by retailers and distributors of grassland products. Therefore, as entities associated with the transactions or activities of Inner Mongolia's forest areas, the dairy companies involved are interested stakeholders. They have no long-term dependence on Inner Mongolia's forest areas.

Power analysis: low influence, low importance


Dual Identity of Ant Forest Users

Users of Ant Forest are spread across the country. They can be either interested or affected stakeholders. Ant Forest demonstrates the possibility of combining mobile media technology with public power to make a meaningful contribution to improving the environment. However, the issues of tree planting involving land use rights, ownership of saplings, objective factors of acceptance criteria and financial payments are worth discussing. Users of "Ant Forest" can reduce a certain amount of carbon emissions through their environmental actions. These emission reductions can be used for virtual tree planting. After the virtual trees grow up, Alipay will help users plant and manage the real trees. Offline tree planting helps prevent wind and sand, prevent desertification and promote sustainable regional development. Carbon emissions in the city are declining, while real trees thrive in the desert. This creates a positive closed loop[17].

Power analysis: high influence, low importance

Achievement of afforestation project in Inner Mongolia, China

Carbon sequestration

According to the study of forest vegetation carbon pool and its changes in the past 50 years, the carbon sink function of forest vegetation in China has increased significantly, especially during 1999-2003, the carbon sink reached 0.17PgC per year, which has exceeded the annual carbon sink value of forest vegetation in the United States 0.11-0.15 PgC. This is largely due to replanted forests, in which most replanted forests are in Inner Mongolia. It is estimated that China's plantation forests contribute more than 80% of the country's total forest carbon sink. Between 2001 and 2010, China's terrestrial ecosystems sequestered 201 million tons of carbon annually, equivalent to offsetting 14.1 percent of China's fossil fuel emissions during the same period.

Eliminate desertification

According to the third National Desertification and desertified land monitoring, the desertified land in Inner Mongolia was 62.2 million hm, 1.6 million hm less than that in 1999: Desertification land is 41.6 million hectares, 486,700 hectares less than that in 1999. For the first time, both desertification and desertification land have been reduced in Inner Mongolia, and desertification and desertification have been reversed for the first time. This is a historic breakthrough in the fight against desertification.


  • Decision-making gap between each level of governance.

Since the People's Republic of China is a centralized government, Forestry and Grassland Administration is most powerful over deforestation issues. Its focus would be cost and result. However, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has very high sovereignty, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Forestry and Grassland Administration has to consider opinions from ethnic minorities and local conditions. This conflict caused many problems in decision-making. Many ethnic minorities workers are dissatisfied with the implementation of Forest Regulations for the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Moreover, local departments such as Alxa League Natural Resource Administration lack experienced officers to manage and monitor the forests. Afforestation has many negative impacts on the environment. For example, some of the afforestation projects have too few species, and they are not resistant to the disease. Over time, they damage the local biodiversity, and eventually, they died from the disease. When doing the decision-making, it is necessary to fully assess the local environment so that negative impacts can be eliminated.[18]

  • Lack Rational Planning

Initially, what ant forest brought society was more forest cover, more carbon sinks, and less land degradation. However, all these benefits cannot be detected immediately, because seedlings need time to grow up. Only mature trees can contribute to climate mitigation and desert mitigation. Water resources, nutrient budget all create more problems to afforestation programs. Indeed, forest cover in Inner Mongolia has increased since the program was initiated, but only in number. Forest cover increasing is not the goal of the afforestation program. What society wants to see is a decrease in desertification, GHG, and pollution. Most media exaggerate the instant benefits ant forest brought us. As the media rushed to report those increased numbers, more people join Ant forest program, more seedlings are planted. More seedlings means more management and supervision costs. However, barely any entity pay for management and supervision cost, causing a low survival rate in trees. Besides, most trees in Ant forests are the same species and are planted at the same time, which means they have less complex stand structure and monoculture. Therefore, trees in Ant forests are not resistant to decrease and forest fire, causing more potential risks. Ant forests need more effective and rational management plans and more monitor strategies.


  • Suggestions to avoid the potential risk of damaging the ecological environment.

(1) Trees that are planted must be monitored over a long time period, which will greatly reduce the short-term profit motive of the people engaged in planting trees.

(2) We must plan greening and planting trees according to local conditions, respecting the laws of nature. Not all areas should be greened;

(3) Moreover, we should not plant trees, especially in the gobi region, where planting trees can possibly destroy the gobi ecological environment, which is a very fragile desert ecosystem.

(4) Personnel responsible for the destruction of the gobi ecological environment by unscientific greening and planting of trees must be obligated to restore the surface conditions of the gobi to prevent the aggravation of wind erosion and desertification, which will increase their awareness of environmental protection and receive punishment for environmental damage.[19]

  • Ant Forest Users need more incentives to remain their passion.

By far, the Ant Forest users are self-motivated. The user group has declined gradually. Ant Forest should encourage users to keep playing Ant Forest in varying ways, such as giving out coupons. Bottom-out approaches are needed to engage people directly in behavioral change and green financing, to complement the top-down climate action initiatives led by governments and non-state actors.[15]

  • Establish an appropriate stipulation to ensure fairness

Nowadays, so many people have been involved in afforestation programs, including the local community, students, military troops, and ethnic minorities. They might be voluntary, mandatory or get paid. It is important to have corresponding stipulations to reward participants. All in all, even though all forest workers have a different purpose, they have the same goal: preventing deforestation. Fairness is the best motivation for the workers. [20]


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  5. "Counties benefit from Beijing-Tianjin sandstorm source control project". CGTN.
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  7. Li, L., & Peng, Z. (2019). Research on sustainable development--take "ant forest" for example. IOP Conference Series. Earth and Environmental Science, 242(5), 52031.
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  10. Du, Yintang (2006). "Cooperative's Status and Role in Rural Area of China".
  11. "Forestry and grassland in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region". State Forestry Bureau.
  12. "Regulations on the implementation of the Forest Law of the People's Republic of China".
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Forest Law of the People’s Republic of China
  14. "Illustration of Plant Species in Ant Forest". 2020. |first= missing |last= (help)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Alipay Ant Forest: Using Digital Technologies to Scale up Climate Action | China". United Nations.
  16. 16.0 16.1 China Forestry Net. (2019). China's contribution to desertification control along the "One Belt And One Road" route. Retrieved October 13, 2019, from
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  18. Yao, Zhengyi (2021). "The impact of large-scale afforestation on ecological environment in the Gobi region". Scientific Reports.
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  20. Yin, Shijie (2020). "Afforestation Reached 66 Millions Acres in Spring". The People's Daily.