China to increase forest coverage
Updated: 2011-09-07 07:17
By Cheng Guangjin and Cang Wei (China Daily)
BEIJING - President Hu Jintao on Tuesday laid out plans that would see China increase its forest coverage by nearly 10 percent over the next decade.
"China is ready to make new contributions to green and sustainable growth," Hu said at the first APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry, held on Tuesday in Beijing.
The country currently has 196 million hectares of forest coverage, with 62 million hectares of that man-made -the most man-made forest in the world.
A large-scale survey in 2005 found that the country had 175 million hectares of forests, and by 2020 that will have increased by 40 million hectares, Hu said.
"The continuously increasing forest coverage in the Asia-Pacific area has become an important force in reversing the decline of world forest resources," Hu said. "The Asia-Pacific region possesses the most abundant and unique forest ecosystem in the world."
The Asia-Pacific region has more than half of the world's total forest area and plays an important role in global forestry and economic development.
Hu proposed improving forestry development and cooperation through investment and scientific innovation, enhancing the protection of biodiversity, increasing carbon absorption by forests and reducing green trade barriers.
Tom Rosser, assistant deputy minister of the Canadian Forest Service, said that Canada is "strongly optimistic about the future" of the forestry sector in the APEC region, and will promote the development of forestry by placing an increased emphasis on science, innovation and partnership.
Graeme Meehan, deputy head of the Australian mission, said Australia recognizes that APEC can "play a significant role in global efforts to promote trade in legal forest products, sustainable forest management practices and forest rehabilitation".
The first APEC Forestry Ministerial Meeting runs from Tuesday to Thursday, and includes representatives from the 21 members of APEC and other international organizations.