Currently China has 57.45 million ha of reserved man-made forests, ranking the first in the world, with a forest coverage rate of 18. 21 percent. While many countries have seen a decline in forest resources, China has increased both the area and reserves of its forests and was listed by the United Nations Environment Program as one of the 15 countries preserving the greatest area of forest.
From 1998 to 2001, the state invested 42.7 billion yuan in central and western China to protect vegetation, subsidize local farmers and promote projects transforming over-cultivated farmland back to forests and pastures. In 2003, the Regulations on Conversion of Farmlands to Forest were formally implemented. The project to reforest cultivated land has been implemented in 25 provinces, autonomous regions and centrally administered municipalities. By 2005, 22.97 million ha of cultivated land across the country had been reforested. Another effective measure of forest protection is the natural forest conservation program started in 1998 that stipulated a nationwide end to the felling of trees in natural forests.
As stipulated by the Research Report on China's Sustainable Development Strategy on Forestry, China's forest coverage rate is expected to reach 28 percent by 2050, with an added area of 110 million ha of planted forest.