China News reported that on April 12, 2008, Chen Lei, the Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources said that China lost more than eight million acres of cultivated land due to soil erosion in the past fifty years, averaging an annual loss of 160 thousand acres.
Chen Lei said that the northwest region loses one centimeter of surface soil every year. In some parts of northeast China, which has always had rich soil, the depth of cultivated soil has decreased from one meter to less than twenty centimeters. 77% of the land in northern China has less than 30 centimeters of surface soil.
Soil erosion not only destroys soil resources, but it is also a main factor for pollution. China’s scientists estimate that soil erosion creates economic loss of 2.25% of the GDP. The environmental damage is immeasurable.
Source: China News, April 12, 2009