Asian Conversations - an online magazine to explore Asia's future

Asia's two green thumbs - China, India

BY LATE 2019 two surprise Asian candidates had found themselves at the forefront of the 'greening the earth' race - China, and India.

It is a seemingly incongruous statistic for two countries determined to push economic growth and development almost at any cost to care for burgeoning populations. According to an article in (drawing on satellite data tracking green cover since 2000) China accounts for 25% of the growth in leafy foliage. The bulk of this (42%) has come through expanded forest cover and 32% from a steady growth in farms and croplands.

In India, farms accounted for an overwhelming 82% of its growing leaf cover with forests grudgingly spreading an extra 4.4%.

The article states, "China is engineering ambitious programmes to conserve and expand forests with the goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change." The drive towards vastly expanded food production has increased croplands substantially and technology has permitted farming through the year with less fallow time.

By October 2019 the Indian Government was considering the development of its very own Great Green Wall - a 5km-wide blanket of trees following a 1,400km highway from Porbandar in Gujarat to Panipat near the capital New Delhi. – AC