Prevention of Dust and Sandstorms

Threats of Desertification and Dust and Sandstorms in North-East Asia

Significant parts of North-East Asia are exposed to high frequency and intensity of dust and sandstorms (DSS) due to its vast areas covered by deserts and intense economic activities. Hence, countries in the subregion, in particular China and Mongolia, continue to suffer from deforestation, desertification, and loss of biodiversity.


Desertification threatens over 25 percent of its landmass (approximately 2.6 million km²) in 18 provinces with more than 70 severe DSS taken place since the 1950s. Desertification and DSS has affected more than 400 million people in total.  It brings about great economic losses, most importantly, hinders the progress on poverty reduction and has adverse impact on health.

Map of Desertification-prone Areas in China



As 40 percent of the landlocked Mongolia is covered with deserts and desert-steppes, almost all grasslands and 90% of Mongolia’s pastureland is under threat of desertification. Mongolia is highly vulnerable to ecological changes and impact of climate change on increasing temperature and decreasing precipitation during heavy rain season. Effects of anthropogenic activities such as industrial pollution and overgrazing of livestock has exaggerated the scale of land degradation. Over the past 50 years, the number of days with dust and sandstorms has multiplied by 3-4 times.

Areas threatened by desertification in Mongolia


Source: Combating Desertfication and Land Degradation: Proven Practices from Asia and the Pacific, Korea Forest Service(2011)



  • Implementing the Regional Master Plan for the Prevention and Control of Dust and Sandstorms in North-East Asia

The project was implemented during 2010-2012 to directly respond to the Regional Master Plan in Zamyn-Uud, Mongolia bordering with Erenhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China. It involved (1) a demonstration project on tree planting, (2) development of a GIS-based database on Desertification, (3) Land Degradation and Droughts (DLDD) projects in Mongolia, (4) production and distribution of awareness-raising materials in Zamyn-Uud, and (5) workshops for knowledge sharing and training workshop. For the GIS-based information on DLDD projects, please visit


  • Training Workshop on Combating Desertification in North-East Asia

The Training Workshop was jointly held by the NEASPEC and the Institute of Desertification Studies under the Chinese Academy of Forestry during 22-28 September 2013 in China. With ten Mongolian participants, the Training Workshop was made up of two parts: (1) lectures on policies, methods and technologies for reforestation involving irrigation system, selection of tree species, restoration of native desert vegetation, and maintenance of plantations; and (2) field study in Inner Mongolia to understand the application of the desertification control measures and approaches in the field.

NEASPEC Secretariat