In Alashan, a remote region of grassland or steppe in the Mongolian Autonomous Region of China, the desert is growing by 1000 square kilometres per year. Fifty years ago there were 50 springs in the area, three rivers and 800 small lakes. Today sand dunes roll across the plain and the springs, rivers and most of the lakes are gone. This Earth Report travels to Alashan to find out what has gone so drastically wrong over so short a time, and to see what the Chinese authorities and development agencies are doing to draw a line in the sand.
Films in this series