China’s Vice Prime Minister Hui Liangyu has urged government departments and the public to focus on the environment, and continue to plant trees, the China Daily website reports.
In 2008, China’s forest cover increased by 4.77 million hectares, Mr Hui told a conference attended by the country’s central and local forestry administration heads.
In addition, output of the country’s forestry sector reached 1.33 trillion yuan ($194 billion), an increase of just over 6% from the previous 12 months.
Forestry import and export volume was also expected to surpass $70 billion in 2008.
During 2009, China plans to plant 5.48 million hectares of trees, of which volunteers will plant about 2.5 billion trees.
The State Forestry Administration head, Jia Zhibang, also said at the conference that authorities will add more forestry jobs and increase forestry farmers’ income.
China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress (NPC), passed a resolution in 1981 making it a duty of all citizens older than 11 to plant trees annually.
The tree-planting drive is part of a campaign to boost green coverage to 20% of the country by 2010.
Source: China Daily