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Program overview

Since the severe flood disaster in 1998, the “advices on post-disaster reconstruction, remediation of rivers and lakes and construction of water resource infrastructure by the central government” requested full stop of logging of natural forest in the middle and upper reaches of Yangtze River and Yellow River and transformation of forest logging enterprises into forest protection and tending companies, the State Forestry Administration (SFA) formulated “the implementation plan for the natural forest protection program in the upper reaches of Yangtze River and the upper and middle reaches of Yellow River” and “the implementation plan for the natural forest protection program in key regions of national forests in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia”. The State Council has held 2 Premier’s office meetings to examine the above implementation plans and 2 approved implementation plans, the natural forest resources protection program was then formally incepted.

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Program progress

1) Program investment. From the pilot program in 1998 to the end of 2004, the accumulative investment reached RMB 48.83 billion, of which RMB 12.29 billion were the central infrastructure investment, RMB 33.96 billion were the special subsidy fund of the central governmental finance, and RMB 2.58 billion were the counterpart funds of local government.

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The program of fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases in key regions is one of the 6 major forestry programs in the new period. In July 2002, the State Planning Commission approved the “Program plan for fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases in key regions” with the document of “Agriculture economy [2002] 1037). In August 1 of the same year, the State Forestry Administration organized the inception meeting, announcing the formal start of implementation of the program of fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases.

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Since the foundation of the new China, administration of seeds and planting stocks of forest trees became institutionalized, the production of tree seeds and planting stocks have developed from small to large scale, and from simple to advanced techniques. Especially since the 3rd session of the 11th central plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, with deepening reform, continuous social and economic development and attention to ecological environment by the government, China’s tree seed and planting stocks have witnessed a rapid development and significant achievements.

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Up to the end of 2004, the total area of economic forests in China was 27.366 million ha, 18.428 million ha of which started to bear fruits, the total production of all types of economic forests was 68.772 million tons, with an annual gross product of RMB 131.1 billion. Due to the implementation of the major forestry programs such as the land conversion from farmland back to forestland and the improvement of poor productivity economic forest, the total area of economic forest has increased yearly by more than 1.3 million ha since 2000. By adjustment of species composition and improvement of low productivity forests, and intensification of technology applications in cultivation and management, the quantity and quality of products have been improved, the total benefit from economic forests in the country has been significantly increased.

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