North China's Hebei Province will pour 1.52 billion yuan (183 million U.S. dollars) into tree-planting this year, according to sources with the provincial forestry bureau.
An official from the bureau said that the money will be used to plant 530,000 hectares of trees in the province's 25 counties. This will be a supporting project of China's huge Sanbei (Northwest, North and Northeast) Shelter Forest project, the official says.
Launched in 1978, the Sanbei Shelter Forest project covers a total area of 4.069 million square kilometers in 13 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in the northwestern, northern and northeastern parts of China, or 42.4 percent of the
country's total land space. It is expected to be completed in 2050.
According to plan, Hebei will turn the project areas into a natural protection screen for north China's two major municipalities, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as into a fruit production and processing base, a flower and seedling cultivation base, a trial base of forestry and a base for the industrialization of forestry-related high-tech.
(Xinhua News Agency May 6, 2002)