China aims to expand forest coverage to 21.66% by 2015 to improve ecological environment, cope with global climate change, says head of state forestry agency

BEIJING , October 15, 2012 () – China is expected to raise its forest coverage to 21.66 percent by 2015 in a bid to improve the country's ecological environment, a senior forestry official said Sunday.

Sun Zhagen, vice head of the State Forestry Administration (SFA), revealed the target at a forum on sustainable forestry development.

China will beef up its afforestation efforts to cope with global climate change, Sun said.

China's forest coverage reached 20.36 percent in 2009, up from 18.21 percent in 2006, with 20.54 million hectares of forests restored, according to SFA figures.

The central government earmarked a total of 46.2 billion yuan (7.22 billion U.S. dollars) from 2008 to 2011 to subsidize farmers whose farmland was reclaimed and turned into forests.
(c) 2012 Xinhua News Agency

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