Environmental damage has led to “stonification” – the gradual exposure of stones caused by the deterioration in soil quality – and is endangering over 100 species of plant-life in the southwest province of Guizhou, according to an article in the Peoples’ Daily.
Guizhou is known throughout China for its outstanding biodiversity and distinctive karst landscape, characterised by sharp hills, but human activities such as logging and the extraction of water from lakes have led to serious environmental damage over recent decades, in particular soil erosion, which now threatens a catastrophic loss of plant species.
Guizhou’s stone deserts cover 36,000 square kilometres according to the report - an area larger than the Netherlands - and are increasing at an annual rate of 900 square kilometres, of which more than 20% is arable land.
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landscape in rural Guizhou
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