China to plant 26 billion trees over next decade

December 14th, 2011 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 14 (IANS) China will plant around 26 billion trees over the next 10 years — or two trees annually for every Chinese citizen — to boost the country’s “environmental credentials”.

An average of 650 million people — or half of China’s population — will be mobilised every year to fulfil the goal, Zhang Yongli, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration, was quoted as saying by Xinhua, the official news agency.

In the first 11 months of 2011, about 614 million Chinese people have taken part in voluntary afforestation across the country, planting over 2.5 billion trees to cover areas of six million hectares, the forestry administration said.

This ambitious plan comes at a time when China has vowed to increase its “forest carbon sink capacity”, or the use of forested areas to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby helping to address global climate change.

According to a government report released in November, China has planned a series of ecological protection projects and schemes to return farmland to forest, protect existing forests and control sandstorms in major cities.

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