China officially brought into effect as of January 20 its State Council rules for the returning of farmland to forests or grassland wherever it is ecologically necessary.
This marks the legalization of the management on the work. From 1999 to 2002, China had returned a total of 7.6 million hectares of land to forests or grassland. Of the figure, 3.72 million hectares were formerly farmland and 3.88 million hectares were barren hill slopes.
China plans to have 7 million hectares of farmland returned to forests or grassland in more than 1800 counties in 25 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities this year.
(www.cenews.com.cn January 27, 2003)