Old people in Widou Thiengoly say they can remember when there were so many trees that you couldn’t see the sky. Now, miles of reddish-brown sand surround this village in northwestern Senegal, dotted with occasional bushes and trees. Dried animal dung is scattered everywhere, but hardly any dried grass is.
Overgrazing and climate change are the major causes of the Sahara’s advance, said Gilles Boetsch, an anthropologist who directs a team of French scientists working with Senegalese researchers in the region.“The local Peul people are herders, often nomadic. But the pressure of the herds on the land has become too great,” Mr. Boetsch said in an interview. “The vegetation can’t regenerate itself.”
人类学家吉勒斯·博尔特斯（Gilles Boetsch）说，撒哈拉沙漠情况恶化加速，主要原因是过度放牧和气候变化。目前，他正在这一区域指导法国科学家团队和塞内加尔籍的探索者进行合作研究。 “当地的珀尔（Peul）族以放牧为生，有时也过游牧生活。但牧群对于这片土地的压力已大得让其无力承受，”博尔特斯先生在一次采访中说，“这样植被无法自己再生。”
Since 2008, however, Senegal has been fighting back against the encroaching desert. Each year it has planted some two million seedling trees along a 545-kilometer, or 340-mile, ribbon of land that is the country’s segment of a major pan-African regeneration project, the Great Green Wall.First proposed in 2005, the program links Senegal and 10 other Saharan states in an alliance to plant a 15 kilometer-wide, 7,100-kilometer-long green belt to fend off the desert.While many countries have still to start on their sections of the barrier, Senegal has taken the lead, with the creation of a National Agency for the Great Green Wall.
自2008年，塞内加尔已经开始对沙漠侵蚀宣战。过去的每年，该国都会沿着长545公里长（约合340英里）的带状区域种植 200 万株幼苗，这片区域就是“绿色长城”在塞内加尔境内的部分。“绿色长城”是泛非洲主义者的绿植再生项目，该项目最初在 2005 年提出，现在联合了塞内加尔和其他十个撒哈拉国家一同建设，这条绿化带宽 15 千米，长 7100 千米，旨在防止沙漠侵袭。当许多国家着手准备自己国家所负责的绿化带区域时，塞内加尔已经率先为“绿色长城”项目设立了国家级机关。
“This semi-arid region is becoming less and less habitable. We want to make it possible for people to continue to live here,” Col. Pap Sarr, the agency’s technical director, said in an interview here. Colonel Sarr has forged working alliances between Senegalese researchers and the French team headed by Mr. Boetsch, in fields as varied as soil microbiology, ecology, medicine and anthropology.“In Senegal we hope to experiment with different ways of doing things that will benefit the other countries as they become more active,” the colonel said.Each year since 2008, from May to June, about 400 people are employed in eight nurseries, choosing and overseeing germination of seeds and tending the seedlings until they are ready for planting. In August, 1,000 people are mobilized to plant out rows of seedlings, about 2 million plants, allowing them a full two months of the rainy season to take root before the long, dry season sets in.
“这片半干旱的区域已经越来越不适宜居住了。我们希望让人类在这里居住成为可能”，萨拉上校致力于塞内加尔当地研究者和博尔特斯带领的法国团队在包括土壤微生物学，生态学，药剂学和人类学等领域通力合作。“在塞内加尔，我们希望试行各种方法让其他国家也能获益，这样他们也会更加活跃”，上校先生说道。自2008年来，每年从五月到六月，该项目的八个护林所招募了约 400 人，他们的工作主要是挑选并繁育种子，并在八月份左右，将其育成幼苗。届时，该项目会动员1000人去植树约 200 棵，让它们能在旱季之前，有两个月的雨季落地生根。
After their first dry season, the saplings look dead, brown twigs sticking out of holes in the ground, but 80 percent survive. Six years on, trees planted in 2008 are up to three meters, or 10 feet, tall.So far, 30,000 hectares, or about 75,000 acres, have been planted, including 4,000 hectares this summer.There are already discernible impacts on the microclimate, said Jean-Luc Peiry, a physical geography professor at the Université Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand, France, who has placed 30 sensors to record temperatures in some planted parcels.
第一次的旱季过后，这些树苗看起来已半死不活，棕色的树枝从地面支出来。但却有 80% 的树苗成活。六年来，2008 年种下的树植长到了 3 米高（约合10英尺）。到现在，算上今年种的 4000 公顷，已经累计种树 3 万公顷（约合 7.5万亩）。
“Preliminary results show that clumps of four to eight small trees can have an important impact on temperature,” Professor Peiry said in an interview. “The transpiration of the trees creates a microclimate that moderates daily temperature extremes.”“The trees also have an important role in slowing the soil erosion caused by the wind, reducing the dust, and acting like a large rough doormat, halting the sand-laden winds from the Sahara,” he added.Wildlife is responding to the changes. “Migratory birds are reappearing,” Mr. Boetsch said.
The project uses eight groundwater pumping stations built in 1954, before Senegal achieved its independence from France in 1960. The pumps fill giant basins that provide water for animals, tree nurseries and gardens where fruit and vegetables are grown.
该项目所使用的八个地下水泵站均建于 1954 年，在1960年塞内加尔从法国独立出来之前。水泵为动植物存活依赖的大盆地提供水源，滋养水果和蔬菜生长。
Good health is a prerequisite for promoting all-round development of the person. And it is a common pursuit of human societies to improve people’s health and ensure their right to medical care. For China, a large developing country, medical and healthcare is of vital importance to its population of over 1.3 billion, and is a major issue concerning its people’s well being.
China pays great attention to protecting and improving its people’s health. As the Constitution stipulates, “The state develops medical and health services, promotes modern medicine and traditional Chinese medicine…, all for the protection of the people’s health.
Over the years, China has worked hard to develop its medical and health services with Chinese characteristics in accordance with the policy of “making rural areas the focus of our work, putting disease prevention first, supporting both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, relying on science, technology and education, and mobilizing the whole of society to join the efforts, improving the people’s health and serving socialist modernization.”
Thanks to unremitting efforts that have been made, medical and healthcare systems covering both urban and rural residents have taken shape, the capabilities of disease prevention and control have been enhanced, the coverage of medical insurance has expanded, continuous progress has been made in medical science and technology, and the people’s health has been remarkably improved.
With the quickened pace of the country’s industrialization and urbanization, as well as its increasingly aging population, the Chinese people are facing the dual health threats of infectious and chronic diseases, and the public needs better medical and health services. In the meantime, problems still exist regarding China’s health resources, especially the shortage of high-quality resources and the unbalanced distribution of those resources. China has arduous tasks ahead for reforming and developing its medical and health services.