The Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), was established on July 7,1998 by the merging of two former institutes, namely the Xinjiang Institute of Geography (established in 1961) and the Xinjiang Institute of Biology, Pedology and Desert Research (established in 1965), CAS.  

Focusing on the strategic objectives of the western development and under the guidance of the strategic thinking of creating innovative base by the CAS, the XIEG implements the strategies of resource development & utilization, ecological security and sustainable development in arid areas to carry out prospective, strategic and basic researches on “Oasis System Evolution and Oasis Ecological Agriculture”, “Restoration of Fragile and Damaged Ecosystem and Prevention of Desertification”, “Development and Utilization of Resources and Regional Sustainable Development”, “Conservation and Utilization of Special Biodiversity”, and “Resources and Environmental Monitoring and Decision-making in Arid Areas”.

During the third period of knowledge innovation, the XIEG is dedicated towards bringing regional cooperation in science and technology and the scientific level in Central Asia to a new height and strives to build an internationally well-known distinctive research institute in the research field of resources and environment in arid areas.   

The Institute currently includes six laboratories and nine field stations. It also has one academy-level key laboratory, one state-level engineering center, two provincial-level key laboratories, and one specimen museum featuring arid-zone resources and environment with an area of 4 500 m2. The XIEG is the linked unit of the Xinjiang Society of Soil and Fertilizer, the Xinjiang Society of Geography, the Xinjiang Society of Botany, the Xinjiang Society of Natural Resources.

It sponsors 5 journals, Arid Zone Research and Arid Land Geography, and the homonymous journals in Uygur edition, as well as Journal of Arid Land (in English). The XIEG also holds national class A qualification certificate for hydrology and water-resources reconnaissance and assessment, national class B qualification certificate for environmental assessment, national class B qualification certificate for cartography, national class B qualification certificate for tourism planning and design, national class B certificate for ground classification and evaluation, national class B certificate of engineering design for agriculture and forestry industries (afforestation).

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