Desertification in China
In China, nearly 20% of land area is desert. As a result of a combination of poor farming practices, drought and increased demand for groundwater, desertification has become arguably China's most important environmental challenge.
As the effects of increasing desertification appear, farmers are forced to abandon their land, levels of rural poverty rise and the intensity of sandstorms, which batter northern and western China each year, continue to intensify.
By traveling on China's 'desertification train' that dissects China's major northern deserts (The Gobi, Taklamakan and Badain Jaran) from Beijing, on the east coast of China, to Kashgar, on the western borders, photojournalist Sean Gallagher reports on the various implications of desertification on people's lives across the breadth of China.