Until recently China’s Loess Plateau was one of the poorest regions of the country. But a major project is restoring fertility and hope. Centuries of continuous agriculture have removed the trees and leaving land vulnerable to erosion from wind and rain. An area the size of Belgium, its once fertile soils have been washed away, leaving a blighted land scarred with deep ravines – and farmers scarcely able to make a living.
According to soil scientist John Liu, its a story repeated all over the world. For 15 years he’s been following a remarkable project to replant trees and stabilise the soils of the Loess Plateau. Once bare hillsides are now cloaked with green forest and productive fields. Earth Report follows John Liu on a journey from China to Africa to find out how the the lessons learnt with regard to Loess Plateau could help restore degraded lands around the world.