China’s forested area reached 195 million hectares by the end of last year. Director of the State Forestry Administration, Jia Zhibang told a press conference in Beijing the figure was up 2.15%, or 20.54 million hectares from the end of 2003, when it was about 175 million hectares.
According to the SFA, forest refers to woods covering an area more than 1 mu (0.667 hectares) with a crown density – the measure of skylight blocked by plant material – of at least 20%.
Man-made forest increased by 8.43 million hectares from 2004 to 2008 to 62 million hectares, more than in any other country in the world.
However, Jia Zhibang said China still faces major problems on forest protection and management, such as increased occupation and requisition of forest land, and illegal deforestation.
Shanghai Daily reported that Jia Zhibang said the government would step up afforestation and protection of forests to meet Hu’s commitment to combat climate change in September this year.