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Forest, grassland chiefs make environmental impact

Li Hongyang
Updated: July 14, 2022 07:58    China Daily

China's forest and grassland chiefs, who cover nearly all provincial regions, have helped curb illegal damage to forests and mitigate natural disasters like fire, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Forest and grassland chiefs are tasked with looking after different tracts of forest or grassland across the country.

Xu Jide, head of the administration's resources department, told a news conference on July 13 China now has nearly 1.2 million forest or grassland chiefs.

With the aid of their efforts, last year the number of nationwide administrative cases in forests or grasslands dropped by 21 percent year-on-year. The number of forest fires dropped by 47 percent and the area of damaged forests decreased by 50 percent, he said.

The chiefs have been appointed among leaders from governments and Party committees at all levels who hold both duties as officials and chiefs, he said.

In some provinces, cooperative work systems have been set up so that chiefs can work with procurators and police to tackle issues faced by forests and grasslands, he added.

In 2017, Anhui was the first province to start a trial of the role of forest chief, which was later rolled out across the country.

In 2020, a guideline to implement the forest chief program nationwide issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council urged that the program should be fully rolled out by the middle of this year.

"The goal has been achieved in due time," Xu said.

"And over the years, local governments have done a lot to allocate workforces, ensure funds, build smart management platforms and make favorable policies," he said.

Indicators measuring the performance of forest chiefs include forest coverage, forest stock volume, comprehensive vegetation coverage of grassland and area of desertified land restored, while specific targets are tailored in accordance with local conditions, according to the administration.