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29 Jun China Passes Black Soil Conservation Law to Restore Damaged Lands
China’s lawmakers passed the Black Soil Conservation Law on June 24 to secure the country’s grain security and protect the ecosystem, as reported by Xinhua News on the same day. The black soil, or chernozem soil, is very suitable for growing crops with its high density of organic matter. The new law specifies the responsibilities of government at all levels as well as agricultural production operators regarding the protection of black soil. Under the new law, all existing black soil shall be protected, while lands that used to be black soil shall be restored. The new law will take effect on August 1.
Black soil is crucial to China’s grain security. The black soil found in the country’s northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and some parts of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region contributes to around one-quarter of the country’s total grain output. However, years of excessive reclamation have consumed the soil’s nutrients, thinning its chernozem layer. Therefore, in 2021, seven Chinese ministries drew up a five-year action plan (2021-2025) to protect 100m acres of black soil and raise the organic matter content of these lands by more than 10% within this period. Moreover, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will also upgrade the infrastructure of farmland in black soil areas, improve agricultural production conditions, and enhance the resiliency of black soil.