Inner Mongolia to expand forest coverage

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 17, 2011
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China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region plans to expand forest coverage by 12 million mu (800,000 hectares) this year as part of the region's consistent efforts to curb desertification and prevent sandstorms from hitting most parts of northern China.

The authorities will give Inner Mongolia's forestry campaigns a big push this year and launch new programs to improve the ecology of the origins of sandstorms, Guo Xilin, director of the regional government's forestry bureau, said Friday.

The announcement came just days after the central government made a pledge to mend the ecology of Inner Mongolia as part of the efforts to boost an all-around development of the vast region that covers 12 percent of China's land mass.

Government statistics show desertification had encroached on about 52 percent of the land in Inner Mongolia, or 617,700 square kilometers, by the end of 2009, despite the decline of Gobi Desert by 4,672 square kilometers over the previous five years.

The central government said Inner Mongolia's forest coverage should increase to 21.5 percent by 2015, and its grassland coverage should rise to 43 percent. The deterioration of its ecological system should be curbed by then.

The state spent more than 27 billion yuan (4.15 billion U.S. dollars) on combating desertification in Inner Mongolia from 2005 to 2010.

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