China at forefront of global drive for greener Earth

2021-10-30 10:02:28Xinhua Editor : Jing Yuxin ECNS App Download

With the highest growth in forest coverage and the largest area of man-made forests, China has taken the lead in the global campaign to green the planet, contributing the biggest share of global vegetation growth between 2000 and 2017.

Attaching great importance to the climate change response, the country is taking systematic and innovative measures to promote the coordinated conservation of various land systems and raise the level of afforestation.


Firmly resolved to reduce carbon emissions, China has strived to increase its carbon sink capacity by conserving existing green ecosystems, adding new forests, grasslands and wetlands, as well as fighting desertification.

The country's forest coverage and forest reserves have both maintained growth for the last 30 years, and China has realized the largest growth in forest resources among all countries, according to China's white paper on biodiversity conservation.

From 2016 to 2020, around 36.3 million hectares of forests were planted, and about 42.5 million hectares of forests were tended. The country restored 467,400 hectares of degraded wetlands, and added 202,600 hectares of new wetlands, according to China's white paper on responding to climate change.

At the end of 2020, China's forest area stood at 220 million hectares, with a forest coverage rate of 23 percent, and a forest carbon storage of 9.19 billion tonnes.

In the decade from 2010 and 2020, 7.2 million hectares of marginal farmlands were turned into forests and grasslands, the white paper said.

By 2020, the vegetation coverage of China's grasslands was 56.1 percent, and more than half of the country's wetland areas were under protection.

In the 2016-2020 period, China also implemented desertification control for almost 11 million hectares of land, addressed stony desertification on 1.65 million hectares, and comprehensively treated soil erosion on an additional 310,000 square kilometers of land.

China has adopted a series of effective policies to improve its ability to adapt to climate change in recent years, such as optimizing its industrial and energy structures, improving its energy efficiency and increasing its forest carbon sink capacity, according to Ye Min, China's vice minister of ecology and environment.

The country's carbon intensity in 2020 was 48.4 percent less than that in 2005, which means China more than fulfilled its commitment of achieving a 40-45 percent reduction in carbon intensity from the 2005 level by 2020, Ye noted.


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