China’s artificial forest coverage tops world

China has made globally remarkable achievements in forest recovery, and the country’s coverage of artificial forest has reached 69.3 million hectares, the largest size in the world, an official disclosed at a meeting of forest rehabilitation, China Economic Net reported on March 27.

About 6.6 million hectares of forest have been planted each year in China in the past three decades, with the country’s forest coverage rising from 8.6 percent in 1949 to 21.66 percent in 2017, said Peng Youdong, deputy head of the State Forestry Administration, at the 10th anniversary celebrations for the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation.

The Kubuqi Desert in north Inner Mongolia is China’s 7th largest desert. The desert is a typical example and vivid practice of the country’s massive efforts to promote afforestation, combat desertification and strengthen ecological construction.

Over the past 30 years, under the concerted efforts of governments at various levels, local enterprises, social organizations and the local people in Inner Mongolia, about 646,000 hectares of desertified land was rehabilitated, and 15.4 million tons of carbon was sequestrated.

The amount of water conserved reached 24.3 billion cubic meters, the size of oxygen released was 18.3 million tons, and the value produced by bio-diversity conservation reached 349 million yuan. More than 102,000 people involved in the efforts were pulled out of poverty, and more than one million jobs were created.

The Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation, or APFNet, was launched in Beijing in 2008.