(ECNS) -- China has contributed a quarter of the world's new forest land in the past 10 years, said Li Chunliang, deputy director of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, at a press conference Monday.
In the past decade, the forest coverage rate in China has reached 24.02 percent, and the grassland comprehensive vegetation coverage rate 50.32 percent, Li noted.
China has a forest area of 3.46 billion mu (about 231 million hectares), ranking fifth in the world, and its 1.314 billion mu of plantation area ranks first in the world, said Li.
China has become one of the 12 countries with the richest biodiversity in the world, covering almost all global ecosystem types.
According to Li, the country had initially established a new nature reserve system composed of national parks, nature reserves, and various types of nature parks.
The first batch of five national parks, including the Sanjiangyuan National Park, the Wuyi Mountain National Park, the Giant Panda National Park, the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park and the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park, and two national botanic gardens in Beijing and Guangzhou have been set up.
Seventy-four percent of wildlife species under special protection and 65 percent of higher plant communities have been effectively persevered.
As for desert ecosystem management, Li said that in the past ten years, China has completed sand control tasks covering 278 million mu.
In addition, China has implemented 66 regional systematic management projects on forest and grassland areas and 40 pilot demonstration greening projects in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Yellow River Basin, the Yangtze River Basin and other important ecological sites.
The comprehensive forest protection project has enabled 2.578 billion mu of natural forest to recuperate while two rounds of returning farmland to forests and grasslands has been implemented, with 520 million mu of land restored.