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Hainan Province to Step up Converting Farmland to Forestry
China will invest over 3.5 billion yuan (US$423.2 million) in its southern province Hainan in the next three years to return farmland to forests, to increase 180,000 hectares of forests on the island.

Afforrestation will start in Hainan's central mountainous areas that have suffered severe soil erosion as well as western and coastal areas gradually being swallowed by desertification.

According to the plan, about 66,667 hectares of fragile farm land in Hainan are expected to be converted to forests this year, which will boost the provincial forest coverage from the current 53.3 percent to 58.5 percent.

Farmers who formerly relied on the farmland will receive compensation of 20 yuan (US$2.4) and 150 kg of grain in living subsidies for each mu (0.067 hectare) of forests they restore. The compensation period will last from five to eight years depending on the different tree species planted.

Ministry of Land and Resources figures show China converted more than 1.43 million hectares of cultivated land to woodland in 2002, a record high since it began implementing the plan to convert fragile farmland to forests.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2003)

Record Area of Farmland Converted into Woodland in 2002
Hainan Strives to Become Ecologically Sound Province
China Issues Circular on Transfer of Farmland Use Rights
China Returns Reclaimed Land to Wilderness
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