Engelberg is located in the middle section of Kubuqi, one of China's eight major deserts. It was a livable place in history, but due to unduly land reclamation, grazing and wars, it turned to desert.
Over 2 decades ago, Engelberg covered more than 300,000 mu of land, desolate and covered with sand. From 1989, thousands of volunteers, from domestic and abroad, had made great efforts in transforming the desert to a fertile land with guidance of science and technology.
Efforts on Desert governance, ecosystem restoration, sand industry, new energy experiment and demonstration yielded visible results. Nowadays, the green area of Engelberg Desert reached 70% (approx. 210,000 mu). And it has become a national ecological demonstration area integrating international youth cultural exchange, science education, outreach training, desert holidaying, ecological tourism agriculture, desert animal and plant viewing.
Engelberg has received titles and honors including the "Asian 2010 Urban Landscape Award", "National Low Carbon Land Experimental Zone", "China's Demonstration Base for Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development" and "National Eco-Tourism Demonstration City". At the beginning of 2016, Engelberg ecological demonstration area was granted "National Eco-Tourism Demonstration Zone" by the State Ministry of Land and Resources, the State Forestry Administration, and the National Tourism Administration.