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New Guidelines for Overseas Forest Cultivation Enterprises
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China on Tuesday made clear the some guidelines concerning Chinese enterprises planning to engage in overseas forest cultivation activities, the first such rules in the world.

The Guidelines on Sustainable Management of Overseas Forests for Chinese Enterprises were jointly designed by the State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the Ministry of Commerce, according to the SFA.

Jia Zhibang, head of the SFA, said the Chinese government would be fully behind domestic enterprises wishing to carry out forest cultivation activities in foreign countries so long as these would be carried out in a manner that highlights sustainability, bio-diversity and the development of local communities.

The purpose of the move is to provide a framework for enterprises that will help countries or regions afflicted by tough forest restoration and to help the livelihoods of local residents, Jia said.

China will cooperate with international organizations in implementing pilot programs that will help clarify and improve these guidelines and cement them as a key basis upon which to evaluate and supervise the performances of relevant enterprises, he said.

China has been active and successful in forest cultivation both at home and abroad. The country's artificial afforestation has reached 53.65 million hectares, the highest level in the world, according to latest statistics.

So far, Chinese enterprises have invested more than 500 million yuan (US$66.19 million) in Southeast Asian nation as part of a UN drug-plant replacement program, according to Jia.

Fully 40 thousand hectares of forests and crops have been grown with the assistance of Chinese enterprises in those countries, said Jia, adding that the activities also contributed to local employment and economic development.

As the second-largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions in the world, China is now exerting great efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. At a time when many of its enterprises are going global, China will also reinforce the importance of protecting the environment worldwide, said Jia.

Jia insisted that the protection and restoration of forests are irreplaceable measures in easing climate change and safeguarding the eco-system.

(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2007)

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