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Figure 1 On April 3, 2015, Party and state leaders including Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli and others took part Capital Voluntary Tree-planting Activity in Sunhe Town of Chaoyang District, Beijing. Here President Xi Jinping is planting trees with students. Image source: Xinhua News Agency

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“Mountains, waters, forests, farmlands and lakes are a life community. Human beings depend on the farmlands, farmlands depend on waters, waters depend on mountains, mountains depend on earth, earth depends on the trees.” Forests are the main body of terrestrial ecosystem and important resources as well as important ecological guarantee for the survival and development of human beings.

Since the founding of new China, especially in the past 30 years, China firmly pushed forward the afforestation, increased efforts in resource protection and carried out forest sustainable management in a more scientific way. With the overall reduction in global forest resources and under the pressure of rapid economic growth, China has made the fastest growth of forest resources around the world, has laid a solid foundation to promote green growth and sustainable development, and also greatly enhanced China's international image and influence.

The fourth session of the 5th National People’ s Congress released Resolution on Carrying out the Voluntary Tree Planting Campaign Nationwide in 1981 and then the State Council promulgated Measures for Carrying out the Voluntary Tree Planting Campaign Nationwide. From then on, a legal, compulsory and nationwide tree-planting activity flourishes vigorously in China.

Over 30 years, leaders at all levels take the lead, and all sectors of society and the general public actively fulfill their obligations to plant trees for ecological construction; mechanism innovation continues to be pushed forward; key ecological restoration projects steadily advance; afforestation and greening of key areas to be carried out in a down-to-earth manner; new progress has been made in the greening of the departments; afforestation policy mechanism has been improved constantly.

The Eighth National Forest Inventory shows that China has forest area of 208 million hectares, 21.63% forest coverage and forest volume of 15.137 billion cubic meters. Plantations reach to 69 million hectares with a volume of 2.483 billion cubic meters.

With constant afforestation, trees become more and more, mountains and lands turn greener and greener. China not only improves its own ecological environment, but also contributes to the global harmonious development of people and nature.

1.12 Afforestation of Beautiful China 1

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In 1978, China made a significant decision of building Three North Shelterbelt Forest Program from a strategic height of national development and created a precedent for China's forestry ecological engineering construction.

The project has achieved a great success since its implementation, and completed a total afforestation of 26.47 million hectares. Both forest coverage rate and forest volume in engineering area have been doubled.

The latest observation result of China Meteorological Administration shows that the ecological deterioration in three northern regions has been initially curbed and the ecological conditions of the key management areas have been obviously improved.

Over time, plantations and shelterbelt created early in Three North Shelterbelt Forest Programare entering into mature and overripe stages. For this, Three North Shelterbelt Forest Program Phase V lists the reconstruction of degraded forests as one of key focuses, pertinently studies policies, measures and method for restoring forest degradation, and designedly promotes restoration of forest degradation. In 2015, the Ministry of Finance and the State Forestry Administration carried out a pilot restoration of forest degradation in 50 counties of 9 provinces in three-north engineering regions; the State Forestry Administration released Guide to Degraded Shelterbelt Restoration.

1.12 Three-North Shelterbelt Forest  Program-1

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China’ natural forest reaches to 1.828 billion hectares, with a forest volume of 12.296 billion cubic meters, which accounts for 83% total forest volume.

China has carried out Natural Forest Protection Project since 1998 in key state-owned forest regions such as the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, the middle and upper reaches of the Yellow River and the northeast, and Inner Mongolia, and 917 million mu natural forests have been included in the project, which accounts for 50.2% national natural forest. The project has achieved remarkable comprehensive benefits in ecology, economy and society since its implementation. The area of natural forest in engineering area increased 90 million mu, the forest volume rose by 1.109 billion cubic meters and 1.732 billion mu forests have been protected effectively, with obvious improvement of ecological function and water conservation function, decreasing soil erosion year by year and increasing wildlife populations. 650,000 forestry workers have been employed and the social security has been basically guaranteed.

Since April 1, 2015, key state-owned forest regions in the northeast and Inner Mongolia stop commercial logging of natural forests completely, which marks key state-owned forest regions turn to a new stage of comprehensive protection and development from exploitation and utilization.

1.12 Natural Forest Protection 1

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