Rain, Soil Erosion, and Desertification in Datong
by Takami, Kunio
The deep rifts of the Huangtu Plateau in Datong are a fascinating sight for visitors, but they also expose the consequences of overcultivation that results in a vicious cycle of environmental degradation and rural poverty. Kunio Takami of the nonprofit Green Earth Network introduces the harsh conditions that villagers in Datong must brave and the policies that have been implemented to halt the ongoing process of desertification.
Koji Hashimoto is a photographer whose work focuses on farmers and the villages where they live. Over the course of six years he traveled to the Huangtu Plateau in Datong, and in 2001 he published a book of photographs documenting life there. Almost all the landscape photos in the book show the distinctive eroded valleys of the plateau—deep rifts that the elements have cut into the silt-like loess soil. The…
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