With investment totaling 1.9 billion yuan (US$230 million), a “Forestry Sustainable Development Project” has officially kicked off in China according to a recent announcement made by the State Forestry Administration.
The project is another major forestry construction scheme to be carried out in China, following three others -- the National Afforestation Project, the Forestry Resources Development and Protection Project, and Forestry Development in Poverty-stricken Area.
The Forestry Sustainable Development Project includes donations of 16.9 million euros (US$16.78 million) from the European Union (EU), US$16 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a US$93.9 million loan from the World Bank (WB).
The project involves three major parts. The first regards the management of 210,000 hectares of natural forests in Hainan Province and is funded by EU. The second part is concerned with natural protection and management of 13 reserves covering 1.16 million hectares and will be funded by the GEF. The third part will involve the planting of artificial forests, and will use money loaned from the WB to support 250,000 hectares in 110 counties from 11 different provinces including Hebei, Shanxi and Liaoning.
Preparations for the project began in December 1998. It has taken more than three years to conduct feasibility studies, pre-evaluations, evaluations, and negotiate plans and other procedures.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Tingting, December 5, 2002)