China adds 60m hectares of forest area
China's total forest area has increased to 195 million hectares from 134 million hectares in 1992, marking a net gain of 60 million hectares within 20 years, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) said Monday.
Despite a decreasing global forest reserve, China's forest inventory expanded by 3.6 billion cubic meters to reach 13.7 billion cubic meters during the past 20 years, SFA Vice Minister Yin Hong said at a press conference.
China has strengthened its fiscal support for increasing forest area, launched a number of national ecological projects and implemented a nationwide compulsory tree-planting program to expand forests since the inking of the first global environmental treaty at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, Yin said.
The country currently has 61.68 million hectares of man-made forest, the most in the world, and 7.81 billion tonnes of forest-carbon stock. Its desertification area is dropping by 1,717 square kilometers annually, compared to an annual expansion of 3,436 square kilometers at the end of the 1990s, according to Yin.
Yin said the Chinese government will continue to increase investment in the sector, focusing its energy on forest cultivation, wetland, wildlife and habitat protection, and land desertification control.
China aims to expand its total forest area by 40 million hectares, and its total forest inventory by 1.3 billion cubic meters from 2005 to 2020.