Driving into the Ocean of Sand

In August 2007, CEF partnered with Circle of Blue to assemble a group of writers and photographers to take a weeklong car ride from Beijing into central Inner Mongolia. Their drive into the ocean of sand gathered stories, photos, and video to put a human face on the impact of China's growing desertification crisis. Central to the success of the trip was activist Chen Jiqun from the NGO Echoing Steppe, who for years has been advocating better awareness of the plight of Mongolians suffering from relentless desertification in Inner Mongolia. Chad Futrell brought his knowledge and years of experience researching China's policies and programs on desertification to explore the drivers of the increasingly harsh sand storms. Getty photographer Palani Mohan and Circle of Blue videographer Eric Daigh captured both the stunning and heartbreaking images of how the dry environment is challenging many citizens in Inner Mongolia. CEF and CoB staff are currently editing the story and constructing the website for the story launch in early October. A preview of some images from the story is available here: http://www.circleofblue.org/video/index.php#ep6