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China to Issue Law on "Grain for Green" Project

China has sped up drafting laws and regulations to help manage its afforestation projects in farmland areas.

A draft regulation is expected to be officially issued in the near future. It will lay a solid legal foundation for the "Grain for Green" project after it goes into effect, said Zhang Hongwen, director of the farmland-to-forest project with the State Forestry Administration.

According to Zhang, the draft regulation clearly defines the duties of relevant sectors and further explains the country's ecological policies and management measures.

The farmland-to-forest project began in the provinces of Shaanxi, Sichuan and Gansu three years ago.

A total of 34 million mu (2.3 million hectares) of farmland is expected to be turned into forest this year.

"Although achievements have been made, problems still exist when implementing the project, such as people still being reluctant to plant trees on barren slopes and the forest property certificates not being granted to farmers in time," Zhang said, adding that the draft regulation may solve those problems.

(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2002)

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