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China continues afforestation

Updated: Jun 9,2015 9:55 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will create 29.6 million hectares of new forest by the end of 2015 as greening the nation continues, said the State Forestry Administration (SFA) on June 9.

An SFA survey last year revealed that China had 208 million hectares of forest, covering 21.6 percent of the country, up 1.3 percentage points from that five years before.

“China has been increasing its forested area for over 30 years,” said Zhang Jianlong, deputy head of the SFA, at a press conference.

He attributed the increase to government endorsement, public participation and laws on wildlife protection.

There have been some eye-catching achievements in protecting wetlands across the country, he said, adding that China has a total of 53.6 million hectares of wetlands, accounting for more than 5 percent of the country’s total terrain.

China will continue environmental rehabilitation projects, including returning marginal farmland to forest, controlling sources of sandstorms and growing shelter forests, said Zhang.