Soil erosion blamed on overdevelopment
CHINA lost 1.6 billion tons of soil to erosion in 2004, which equals 1 centimeter's thickness over 125,000 square kilometers of land, the Ministry of Water Resources said yesterday. Overdevelopment and irrational construction projects are the main culprits, environment officials said. The worst soil erosion occurred in the areas of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River, which amounted to 932 million tons and 491 million tons respectively, according to a ministry document on soil conservation. The problem of soil erosion afflicts almost the entire nation, especially the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, the middle section of the Yellow River, the northeastern Heilongjiang Province and the Pearl River Delta, said the ministry. China suffers from some of the world's worst soil erosion. A total of 3.6 million square kilometers of land is being eroded, accounting for 37 percent of the country's territory, said E Jingping, vice minister with the Ministry of Water Resources. "Soil erosion can bring more frequent floods and droughts, undermine the infrastructures and rein in the sustainable development," said E.