China is implementing one of the world's biggest afforestation programs, a project that will contribute much to global forest protection and ecosystem balance, said Jiang Zehui, president of the Chinese Forestry Sciences Academy.
Jiang made the remarks at a meeting on Global Environment Facility (GEF) and environmental protection in China in Beijing Thursday.
In the coming five to ten years, the State Forestry Administration will promote six major programs on natural forest protection and shelterbelt forest development in the north, northwest and northeast of China as well as the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
The programs aim to convert slope farmland into forest and grassland, combat the desertification of Beijing and Tianjin by wind and sand, conserve wildlife, develop nature reserves, and develop forestry industrial bases in key regions to focus on fast-growing and high-yield timber plantations.
In the western region, programs will focus on preventing land degradation, eradicating poverty, maintaining bio-diversity and reducing the emission of carbon dioxide, Jiang said.
China's partnership with GEF, the funding mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, for combating land degradation in dry land ecosystems in western China is an excellent example of support of ecological development and environmental protection in China, she said.
Jiang said the experience from the China-GEF program could be used in the prevention of land degradation, conservation of bio-diversity, greenhouse effect alleviation, water pollution control, and rational use of water resources across China and even the world.
(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2002)