On September 10th, Kum-Taggh Comprehensive Scientific Expedition Project (Phase II), which is under the charge of CAF, was launched in Beijing. Scientific expedition team consisted of experts from more than 20 scientific and educational institutes subordinate to CAF, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Ministry of Education, China Meteorological Administration, Gansu province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Totally eleven academicians and experts took up the post of project advisor including SUN Honglie, ZHENG Du, ZHANG Xinshi, SUN Jiulin, JIANG Youxu, LI Wenhua, YIN Weilun and others.
PENG Yiqi, deputy director-general of Ministry of Science and Technology, LI Xing, deputy director-general of State Forestry Administration and LIU Shirong, chief of project leading group attended the launch ceremony and delivered the speeches. PENG Yiqi put forward several requirements on this project, including its objective, administration, schedule, publicity, function of expert team. LI Xing emphasized the importance of preparation in the outcome of a project, and hoped the project team could further supplement, complete and organize the data base on Kum-Taggh desert, thus to promote development of desert science of China. ZHANG Shougong made a general review on what had been done and achieved in Phase I of Kum-Taggh Project, and expressed his willingness to absorb experience and accomplished a good outcome in this project. Other expert team member also gave specific suggestions on this project in its composition of staff, research emphasizes, scientific and historic value and so on.
Kum-Taggh Desert locates in the eastern part of Tarim Basin, stretching through Gansu and Xinjiang province. It is the sixth largest desert in China with its mobility ranking first. Because of its severe nature condition, extreme drought and complex topographic feature, Kum-Taggh Desert is the last blank spot in our history of studying desert before the first phase of Kum-Taggh Desert Project. Kum-Taggh Comprehensive Scientific Expedition Project is one of the largest scientific expedition projects initiated by forestry system. Its first phase task has been finished in the end of 2009, stretching 4 years. It filled the gaps of desert study in exhibiting the morphological characteristic and formation of Feathery dunes, compiling geomorphologic map, publishing theses in authoritative journals on geomorphology and other important accomplishments.