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Figure 5 Before returning farmlands to forests in Tiebian Town, Wuqi County, Shaanxi Province, shot in 1984.

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

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 project area have been doubled. 

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

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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.

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