The middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo, the Lhasa, and the Nianchu rivers form the center of politics, economy, and culture in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Due to the fragility of the natural environment and overexploitation of land by the local people, desertification is becoming a serious problem in the valleys. Shifting sands cover an area of 578 km2 and have caused problems such as damage to farmland and grassland, traffic blockage and burying of water projects. This paper discusses strategies and techniques for combating shifting sands, including reformation of the agricultural structure, exploitation of new sources of energy, and combinations of mechanical and biotic measures. Using mechanical measures, straw barriers, and gravel layer covers, artificial vegetation can be established on the mobile sand dune by sowing and planting introduced species.
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Vol. 30 • No. 6