China's desertification has taken a turn for the better, said a forestry official at a recent symposium in east China's Zhejiang Province.
It is the first time China's desertification has seen a favorable turn, owing to the changed strategy of the State Forestry Administration (SFA), said Zhang Jianlong, deputy director of SFA, at the First China Forestry Symposium held in Hangzhou earlier this month.
"In the past we focused on timber production, while now we give priority to the ecological conservation of forest," added Zhang.
With the implementation of the wind and sand control project in Jing (Beijing)-Jin (Tianjin) area, over 4.5 million hectares of land has been brought under control.
Apart from that, some other key projects like natural forest protection and reforestation of reclaimed farmland have also achieved effective results.
Currently, 18.21 percent of the country's land is covered by forest. In the last three years, the forest-covered land has exceeded 6.7 million hectares.
The wind and sand control project in the Jing-Jin area, with an investment of seven billion US dollars, was implemented in March 2003, involving five provinces, autonomous region and municipalities in north China, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi.
(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2005)