China continues its forest planting campaign

Thursday 1 Apr 2021

China planted 6.77 million hectares of forest last year and brought more than 2 million hectares of sandy land under control through improving vegetation, said a recent report on the country's 43rd Tree Planting Day.

According to the report from the National Greening Commission, 827,000 hectares of farmland and more than 1.68 million hectares of pastures had been turned into forest or grassland over the past year. To date, the per capita green area in urban China is 14.8 square meters, and 441 cities have joined the campaign to build national forest cities.

Moreover, the country initiated its first pilot program to construct grassland nature parks last year, with 39 pilots launched, covering a total of 147,000 hectares of grassland in 11 provinces and autonomous regions.

Afforestation is also part of the country's efforts to meet its upgraded international commitments to mitigate climate change. According to the report, forest carbon storage in China was about 9.18 billion metric tonnes last year, fulfilling the country's commitment to the international community.

Today, China has 220 million hectares of forest with a total forest stock volume of 17.5 billion cubic meters, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

On Friday, an accounting report on China's forest resources was also released, showing that the total value of forest related resources in the country was more than 25 trillion yuan, and related services were valued at least 15 trillion yuan.

China has initiated a program to study forest resources accounting since 2014 with experts from several government departments and research centres. Forest resources accounting is an attempt to measure sustainable development by correcting the national income accounts for the depletion of natural capital.

"It is still a new attempt worldwide to account for forest resources with economic theories," said Jiang Zehui, chief scientist at the Chinese Academy of Forestry and head of the program. Li Xiaochao, deputy director of the National Bureau of Statistics, said the accounting will help evaluate China's forest resources and its potential to develop other green industries.

Source: China Daily

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