China sees better forest quality, enhanced carbon sink capacity via strengthened management
China has steadily improved its forest quality and enhanced carbon sink capacity through strengthened management, according to a recent statement from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
From 2012 to 2021, 1.2 billion mu (about 80 million hectares) of forests were tended to in China. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), the area was 619 million mu (about 41 million hectares).
Ten years of efforts have greatly changed the country's once backward forest management mode, improved the forest structure and unleashed the productivity potential of forests, the administration said.
"According to statistics, China's arbor forest stock volume hit 94.83 cubic meters per hectare over the past decade, an increase of 8.95 cubic meters compared with 10 years ago. Increasing forest stock volume has led to greater carbon sink capacity," said Xia Chaozong of the Survey and Planning Institute of the administration.
China has the largest area of man-made forests in the world, with a stock volume that stands at 59.3 cubic meters per hectare. That's less than half of the world average, so there is still great potential for tapping carbon sink capacity to absorb more carbon from the atmosphere.
Forest management involves a series of activities to protect and tend forests, old and new, and establish a stable, healthy, high-quality and efficient ecosystem.
According to research and practice, carbon sink capacity is related closely to the tree age. Like human beings, forests can be divided into young, middle-aged, near-mature, mature and over-mature.
Young and middle-aged forests have relatively fast carbon sink rates, while the growth rate and wood quality of mature and over-mature forests decline significantly, with their carbon sink capacity also dropping gradually.
(Cover image via CFP)
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