Forest cover to double

Published: Sunday 30 April 2000

in another 50 years time, China's forest cover is expected to double with the State Forestry Administration ( sfa ) having laid out an ambitious afforestation programme to improve the nation's ecological environment. The plan outlines four projects to be carried out in four different regions -- the environmentally fragile upper reaches of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, arid Northern areas and the government-run key forest zones in the northeast and east China.

sfa minister Wang Zhibao said: "While providing timber and other forest products to the country and people, top priority of the four projects will be the construction of ecologically-sound forests."

While its annual timber consumption is 150 million cubic metres, China's rate of afforestation is less than 14 per cent, which is half the world's average. As such its demand for timber far exceeds the world's total annual timber trade volume.

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