China's forest area grows by over 22m hectares in past decade: report

China's forest area has increased by 22 million hectares over the past decade, according to a report published by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Sunday.

The growth has significantly improved the country's ecological environment while contributing to a quarter of the world's new forests during the period.

The country's forest coverage rate now stands at 24.02 percent, jumping from 8.6 percent in 1949 when the People's Republic of China (PRC) was founded.

Key projects have been promoted in the country's move toward large-scale land afforestation and one of them is the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest.

Launched in 1978, the project develops extensive shelterbelts in the northern part of China to hold back the aftermath of sandstorms and soil erosion. It covers a combined area of 4.07 million square kilometers, accounting for 42.4 percent of the country's land area.

From 1978 to 2023, China's forest coverage rate increased by more than 10 percentage points, the fastest in the world.

It's also home to the world's largest artificial plantation, Saihanba mechanized forest farm in the northern province of Hebei. From a wasteland to a sea of forests, the miraculous transformation of Saihanba reflects the country's efforts for improving the environment.

Apart from greening the desert, trees also play an important role in fixing sand and dust control.

The Yellow River is the most sediment-laden river in the world. Thanks to decades of tree planting, its annual sediment discharge has reduced by 400 million tonnes.

(Cover images via VCG)

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