China still faces severe eco-environmental situation as its task of afforestation is rather arduous and difficulties involved in attaining the goal for its afforestation cannot be overlooked, Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu said at a plenary conference of the national afforestation committee Tuesday.
Hui, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the national afforestation committee, called for accelerating the pace of afforestation and stepping up eco-environmental work.
China has made remarkable progress in the eco-environmental sphere; it has increased the area and volume of forests, decreased the area of land erosion and desertification and encouraged steady growth in the number of wildlife, the vice-premier said.
He also called for creating still greater public awareness about the importance of afforestation and making new, substantial efforts in the nationwide tree-planting campaign.
The committee passed a resolution to award "national medals in afforestation" to a number of individuals who made notable contributions to afforestation in 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2005)