China vows to raise forest coverage rate in next 5 years

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) — China’s forestry and grassland authority on Thursday vowed to increase the country’s forest coverage rate to 24.1 percent in the next five years.

The nation’s forest stock volume would reach 19 billion cubic meters by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, an increase of 1.4 billion cubic meters from the present level, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

The comprehensive vegetation coverage rate will grow by 1 percentage point to reach 57 percent, said Liu Dongsheng, an official with the administration.

The authority also revealed China’s forest carbon reserve for the first time.

China’s forest carbon reserve has reached 9.2 billion tonnes, representing an increase of over 200 million tonnes on average each year, which is equivalent to a carbon sink of 700 million to 800 million tonnes, according to Liu.

Liu said with the expansion of forest area and the increase of forest stock, forest carbon sinks will gradually increase, helping the country cope with climate change and reach its carbon neutral target.

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