Timberland’s Horqin Reforestation Project Inner Mongolia 2011

Mongolia Timberland Project
Thanks to Timberland Malaysia, I had the great opportunity to join in their yearly Horqin Reforestation Project in Inner Mongolia in 2011. This is a major part of their Earthkeepers effort to combat desertification and sandstorm in Horqin, Inner Mongolia.

This trip was an unforgettable journey for me, from the tree planting activities to getting to know the myriad of beautiful people, the spectacular scenery which seems to be everywhere and of course the consumption of glorious local food!



Timberland’s Horqin Reforestation Project Inner Mongolia 2011

Honestly, I would also like to experience the jobs undertaken by Mr Yoshio Kitaura and Mr Takashi Otaki, the two main persons behind Green Network. They are a Japanese NGO who has been working with Timberland to green the Horqin desert in Inner Mongolia since 2001.

Trees at Wafang Desert
Pruning the trees at the Wafang Desert in Mongolia
Tree Pruning at Wafang Desert

After a hearty local breakfast, we headed out to Wafang desert and it started to drizzle halfway. I was slightly disappointed with the weather condition but luckily, throughout the journey, I was distracted by the beautiful landscape of pine trees, endless rows of corn fields and sunflowers.

It was still drizzling when we reached the site, but spirits were not dampened and most of us seems to be enjoying the cool weather and looking forward to prune some trees!
The pruning of the lower branches encourage faster and greater growth as explained by Mr Yoshio Kitaura, the Managing Director of Green Network.

Mongolia Timberland Tree Planting
Tree pruning at the Agula Desert in Mongolia
Tree Planting at Agula Desert

The next day, after an approximately three hours of bumpy bus ride, the Singapore winner of the Timberland Photography contest 2011 managed to find humor in it and commented, “This is like a Disneyland ride!”

Kudos to him for being so cheerful under such circumstances, the beauty of nature does have its magical touch.

Mongolia Wafang Desert
Heading to the Wafang Desert
Then we were ‘herded’ into a truck, another unforgettable journey to the actual tree planting site. Along the way were magnificent views of farms, Mongolian yurts, mountains, local horses, cattle and sheep.

Yurts in Mongolia Mongolian Yurts or Homes

Horse at Wafang Desert
A horse in the Wafang Desert
The horses and cattle usually look malnutritioned, a result of desertification, which means lesser grass to feed on.

Mongolia Wafang
Since 2001, Timberland has planted one million trees in Horqin and has committed to plant two million more in the next decade.

Earthkeepers Timberland
This is what desertification looks like. Overgrazing by domestic livestock creates desertification which in turn produces sandstorm that affects China and its neighboring countries like Japan and Taiwan.

Aishah Sinclair in Mongolia
Aishah Sinclair in Mongolia
In the photo above, Aishah and fellow Earthkeepers forming a human chain to water the newly-planted tree saplings. Aishah Sinclair, Malaysian actress and television host, is the ambassador for Timberland Earthkeepers. She is well-known for helping to inculcate a caring attitude for the environment, especially with the younger generation.

The team from Malaysia and Singapore, including the winners from the Timberland Photography Contest 2011.
As Arthur Ang, the Regional Marketing Director for Timberland Asia Pacific, puts it, “…it starts from everyone to really have a better consideration of what we do everyday to help preserve the earth and that’s really what Earthkeepers is.

Horqin Timberland Team
The Timberland Outdoors Horqin - Jiuzhaigou Team 2011 at Agula Desert

Malaysia Timberland Outdoor Team
The Timberland Outdoors Horqin - Jiuzhaigou Team 2011 at the Timberland Forest

If you are a nature lover and adventurous, I would recommend this “Earthkeeping” trip very much. Just remember to pile on the sunblock, moisturizer and a good pair of trekking shoes!

And if you are interested to volunteer for the reforestation project in Horqin, please email Green Network or contact Timberland Malaysia for more information. Mr Takashi Otaki – he speaks fluent Mandarin and Japanese of course, and limited English. You can email him at taki@js7.so-net.ne.jp

For more information about Timberland Earthkeepers commitment to green mother earth and Timberland Community. This trip was made possible by Timberland Malaysia for the Timberland’s Horqin Reforestation Project in Inner Mongolia 2011.

This article on Timberland’s Horqin Reforestation Project in Inner Mongolia was written by - Lilian Chua, a freelance writer from Malaysia.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”  Martin Luther King

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