Special team investigating report of massive deforestation in NW China's Gansu
A special work team was established in Northwest China's Gansu province on Wednesday to investigate a recent report of a massive deforestation case in the province's Dunhuang city.
Nearly 1,000 hectares of forest belonging to Yangguan forest station in the city were illegally logged in the past decade and replaced with grape farms, the Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday morning.
The forest, standing on the edge of Kumtag Desert - the country's sixth-largest desert, has played a significant role of preventing sandstorms, conserving water and soil, and safeguarding agriculture.
Based on two satellite remote sensing images provided by authorities, the report said forest area in the station dropped significantly from 1,333 hectares in 2000 to 333 hectares in 2017.
Surveys conducted by the Economic Information Daily early this month further proved that the region once covered by forest is now replaced with grape farms.
On Wednesday afternoon, Dunhuang municipal government announced on its Weibo account, saying an investigation team has been sent to cover the case.