Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday proposed setting up an Asia-Pacific Network on Forest Rehabilitation and Sustainable Management in order to better tackle climate change.
Hu put forward the initiative at the Economic Leaders Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum which opened earlier in the day at Sydney Opera House.
The meeting, with the theme of "strengthening our community, building a sustainable future," is focusing on climate change and other issues at the first-day session.
Citing China's work and experience in forestation between 1980 and 2005, Hu said forest protection has an important role to play in addressing climate change.
He proposed the setting up of the Asia-Pacific Network on Forest Rehabilitation and Sustainable Management.
The network will provide a platform for APEC members to share best practices, conduct policy dialogue and carry out personnel training on forest rehabilitation and management, he said.
The Chinese president invited APEC members to join the proposed network to promote forest rehabilitation and expansion, so as to increase carbon sink and mitigate climate change in the Asia Pacific region.
The Chinese president arrived in Sydney from Canberra on Wednesday to attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders Meeting. He has also paid a state visit to Australia.
The two-day gathering is the culmination of this year's annual APEC meetings, which also include the Ministerial Meeting, Senior Officials' Meeting and a business summit.
Since its inception in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies, APEC has played a vital role in making the Asia-Pacific region a driving force for world economic growth.
APEC currently has 21 members: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. The chairmanship rotates among its members.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2007)