Subscribe

China spent $100 billion on reforestation. So why does it have 'green deserts'?

Beijing's Grain-for-Green program has helped blanket the country's hillsides with trees, undoing damage from decades of blistering development. But fostering biodiversity remains a challenge, conservationists say.

Michael Holtz/The Christian Science Monitor

Standing on a hillside, Liu Minfang looks down at the lush landscape that surrounds her home in the remote mountains of southwestern China. Terraced slopes that farmers once used for growing crops are now filled with cedar trees and bamboo. A waterfall cascades down a distant cliff. In the valley below, a muddy river flows through a patchwork of rapeseed fields and rice paddies.