China vows to raise forest coverage rate in 5 years

Beijing, Dec 17 (IANS): China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Thursday vowed to increase the country's forest coverage rate to 24.1 per cent in the next five years.

The nation's forest stock volume would reach 19 billion cubic metres by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, an increase of 1.4 billion cubic metres from the present level, Xinhua news agency reported.

The comprehensive vegetation coverage rate will grow by 1 percentage point to reach 57 per cent, said Liu Dongsheng, an official with the Administration.

The authority also revealed China's forest carbon reserve for the first time.

China's forest carbon reserve has reached 9.2 billion tonnes, representing an increase of over 200 million tonnes on average each year, which is equivalent to a carbon sink of 700 million to 800 million tonnes, according to Liu.

Liu said with the expansion of forest area and the increase of forest stock, forest carbon sinks will gradually increase, helping the country cope with climate change and reach its carbon neutral target.

In 2019, China's forest coverage rose to 22.96 per cent, with the world's largest area of planted trees, according to a National Greening Commission report released earlier this year.

The year witnessed a big rise of forest coverage in China, with the newly planted forests reaching 7.07 million hectares, and all commercial logging in natural forests banned, said the report.



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Title: China vows to raise forest coverage rate in 5 years

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