Ecological Environmental Protection 

In the past 40-some years, China has accumulatively improved 670,000 sq km of soil-eroded areas, and the forest coverage rate has increased to 13.92 percent. Some achievements have also been made in natural environmental protection, with 151 model ecological zones. There are 1.146 nature reserves all over the country, including 137 national nature reserves. The largest project for the transformation of the ecological environment is the “Three-Norths” (Northwest, North and Northeast) Shelterbelt Project. Following the beginning of the construction of this 7,000-km “Green Great Wall” in 1978, more than 18 million ha of areas had been afforested, 21 million ha of fields had been protected by trees and about 20 percent of desertified land had been improved by 1996. The construction of another two projects—he shelterbelts on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the coastal shelterbelts—is being speeded up. At present, the Chinese natural ecological environment is still very weak, and water erosion, desertification and degeneration of grasslands are worsening with each passing day, thus weakening the ecological functions of windbreaks, sand fixation, water storage, soil preservation, and the protection of biological diversification. Hence, the Chinese government is taking measures to implement the National Program for the Construction of the Ecological Environment in an all-round way, while paying great attention to the prevention and control of pollution and the protection of the ecological environment.

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Last updated: 2000-07-13.