Speech by Zhu Lieke, vice administrator of the State Forestry Administration

December 4, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good morning! I am very glad to meet you here.

At the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded recently, the strategic task of “promoting conservation culture” was clearly put forward, “building a country with sound environment” was identified as an important objective of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects which is an important practice in thoroughly applying the scientific outlook on development as well as an important content of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Conservation culture is a new form of civilization following the development of primitive civilization, agriculture civilization, and industrial civilization. Forestry is the principal part of conservation culture development and is playing an essential role in promoting conservation culture.

I. Forestry shoulders important tasks in the development of conservation culture.

Forests and wetlands are the important ties for the harmony between man and nature. Forestry bears such important tasks as forest protection and cultivation, wetland conservation and restoration, desertification combating, soil and water conservation, wild fauna and flora conservation and the development of ecological culture. Forestry undertakes such arduous tasks as supplying ecological products, physical products and eco-cultural products. In the historic process of developing conservation culture, forestry must not only shoulder the important task of ecological improvement, but also act well as the erector of ecological culture.

The new objectives of “promoting conservation culture” and “building a country with sound environment” have assigned new historic tasks to forestry and required forestry to play an even bigger role.

(1) Forestry is the principal part of ecological improvement, and should play an important role in building a country with sound environment. Forestry is the principal part of ecological improvement. It enjoys a top priority position in ecological improvement and an important position in sustainable development strategy, playing an irreplaceable role in combating desertification, soil and water erosion and flood, and safeguarding gene safety. During the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, forestry development should be accelerated to give full play of its various functions.

(2) Forestry is a circular economy entity with giant scale, and shall play an important role in forming a comparative great scale of circular economy. Taking forest resource as the main objective for management, forestry is a circular economy entity with the largest scale. Currently, China has 4.3 billion mu of forestry land, 800 million mu of sandy land suitable for utilization, over 8000 woody plant species, over 2400 terrestrial wild animal species and over 30,000 wild plant species. Through vigorous strengthening of scientific management and rational utilization of forest resources, and the circular and high efficient utilization of its multi-functions and multi-benefits forestry could contribute a lot to meeting the demand of economic and social development for forest products and ecological products, thus to expand the scale of circular economy and promote circular economic development.

(3) Forestry biomass energy is renewable and degradable green energy, and shall play an important role in increasing the share of renewable energy significantly. Biomass energy has the advantages of renewability and degradability. Among the current forest resource in China, the biomass that can be used as materials for industrial energy amounts to 300 million tons, which can replace 200 million tons of standard coal; an additional 13.333 million ha of energy forest can be established on current forest land, which can provide 5 million tons of biodiesel and 400 million tons of woody fuel annually, equivalent to about 270 million tons of standard coal. Vigorously carrying out research and development of forestry biomass energy can increase the share of renewable energy, safeguard China 's energy safety and promote energy saving, and reduction of emissions and energy consumption.

(4) Forestry is a main source and important ground of ecological culture, and shall exert important effect in establishing a sound conservation culture concept in the whole society. Ecological culture is the cultural foundation of conservation culture. Forestry shall not only yield abundant ecological and physical fruits, but also spare no efforts to create plentiful ecological culture fruits, build prosperous ecological culture system, disseminate the values of harmonious coexistence of the human beings and the nature, and establish a sound conservation culture concept in the whole society, so as to promote conservation culture development.

II. Building Conservation culture and Striving for the Fulfilling the Objective of Good Ecological Environment

In the recent few decades, the Chinese government has attached great importance to and continuously conducted ecological improvement and nature conservation. Remarkable achievements have been made in the ecological improvement, which have made relatively great contribution to improving the ecological status of China , tackling the global ecological crisis and safeguarding the global ecological security and have also laid a good foundation for the development of the conservation culture. In order to fulfill the task of building conservation culture, the modern forestry development shall be accelerated, a sound forestry ecological system, a well developed forestry industry system and a prosperous ecological cultural system shall be established, the three main functions of forestry shall be upgraded, the three main benefits of forestry shall be brought into full play and a country with good ecological environment shall be strived for by 2020.

The main tasks and objectives are as follows:

Firstly, strengthening the ecological improvement with a focus on afforestation and greening and improving the ecological status of the national land. The Voluntary Tree Planting Campaign shall be conducted in depth. Such key ecological programs as the Natural Forest Protection Program, the Land Conversion Program, the Desertification Control Program in areas in vicinity of Beijing and Tianjin, the “Three North” and the Yangtze Shelterbelt Development Program, the Program to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation in Rocky Regions, the Soil and Water Conservation Program, the Fast-growing and High-yield Timber Industrial Base Development Program and the Coastal Shelterbelt Development Program shall be implemented continuously and the afforestation scale shall be expanded appropriately. The national forest cover shall reach at least 20 percent by 2010, 23 percent by 2020 and 26 percent by 2050.

Secondly, enhancing the forest management and protection and improving the quality of forests. Forest management shall be promoted forcefully, the National Forest Management Plan for Key Forests for Public Welfare shall be initiated and the scale of forest management shall be expanded. The cultivation of rare tree species shall be accelerated and the National Rare Tree Species Cultivation Program shall be implemented. The productivity of forest lands and resource use efficiency shall be improved. By 2020, the stock volume of the existing timber plantation shall be increased to about 100 cubic meters per hectare. The unit yield of industrial plantation shall be improved by 30 percent, the ratio of the output value yielded by biological technologies shall grow by 20 percent and the integrated use rate of timber shall reach at least 80 percent. The prevention and control of forest fires, exotic species and illegal confiscation of forest lands shall be enhanced, the forest health shall be proactively promoted and the forest lands and forest harvest and use shall be strictly regulated and the “red line” of a total forest area of 310 million ha shall be sternly guaranteed. The objective of “the more we harvest, the more and the better we preserve to ensure permanent green mountains and sustainable utilization” shall be fulfilled.

Thirdly, intensifying the nature conservation and strictly conserving the biodiversity. The Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Development Program shall be implemented continuously. By 2020, the nature reserves of forest and wildlife types shall amount to about 2300, covering an area of 140 million ha, accounting for 1.45 percent of the total territory area. 95 percent of the wild fauna and flora species under the national priority for protection and all ecosystem types shall be well protected. The Operation Plan of the Wetland Conservation Program shall be implemented in an all-around manner, the wetland conservation, restoration and sustained use shall be enhanced. By 2020, the number of wetland nature reserve shall reach more than 600, wetlands of international importance shall amount to about 80 and 60 percent of natural wetlands shall be effectively protected.

Fourthly, developing forestry industry and building ecological culture. The industries dependent on forestry shall be developed, such as timber and bamboo processing industry, economic forests and forest food, forest herbs, forest and wetlands ecotourism. Efforts shall be made to build green homeland and urban forestry, to promote the integrated development of urban and rural areas so as to meet the demand of the society for ecological products and achieve the objectives of “expanded production, a better life and sound ecological and environmental conditions”. The conservation culture education shall be conducted extensively, ecological knowledge shall be publicized, and ecological ethnics shall be advocated. Literary and artistic creation shall be enriched and ecological cultural cause shall be developed. Priorities shall be given to the development of such ecological cultural industry as forest culture, flower culture, bamboo culture, tea culture, wetland culture, wildlife culture, eco-tourism culture and green consumption culture.

Now, the floor is open for your questions.