Aerial photo shows staff workers patrolling in Changpoling National Forest Park in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou Province, July 13, 2022. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)
BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Over the past decade, China has stepped up efforts in promoting the harmonious coexistence of human and nature and has achieved remarkable results in preserving natural resources.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, the central Party leadership has strived to deepen reform of the ecological civilization system.
China has carried out a large-scale greening campaign nationwide over the past 10 years, said Li Chunliang, deputy director of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, at a CPC press conference on Monday.
The accumulative afforestation area reached 960 million mu (64 million hectares) in the period, while 165 million mu of grassland was improved through grass planting, and more than 12 million mu of wetlands were added or restored.
The country's forest coverage rate now stands at 24.02 percent, with the comprehensive vegetation coverage reaching 50.32 percent. It has contributed a quarter of the world's new forest area in the past decade, Li said.
Forest area in China currently stands at 3.46 billion mu, ranking fifth in the world. Its forest stock volume has reached 19.49 billion cubic meters, ranking sixth globally.
The country ranks first globally with 1.31 billion mu of planted forest and holds the second spot in the world with 3.97 billion mu of grassland area.
BOOMING MARINE ECONOMY
China's gross ocean product rose from 5 trillion yuan (720.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012 to 9 trillion yuan in 2021, accounting for about 9 percent of the gross domestic product, said Zhang Zhanhai, chief engineer at the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The structure of the marine industry has constantly been optimized, with the growth rate of the emerging marine industry exceeding 10 percent, Zhang added.
The country is now the world's largest shipbuilder, and it ranks first in the world in terms of ocean port scale and the installed capacity of offshore wind power.
A total of 145 marine nature reserves were built nationwide, covering an area of 7.91 million hectares. A total of 143 projects were undertaken for the protection and restoration of blue bays and coastal zones, while 1,500 km of shorelines and 30,000 hectares of coastal wetlands were renovated or restored.
IMPROVING NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM
The building of the national park system is the biggest highlight of China's nature conservation efforts in the past decade, Li noted.
The country has launched 10 pilot national parks since 2015 and is in the process of building the largest national park system in the world.
Among the first group of national parks is the Sanjiangyuan National Park, home to the headwaters of the three rivers of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang.
The Giant Panda National Park connects the giant panda habitats and offers effective protection to 72 percent of the total wild giant pandas living in China.
The Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park makes migration easier for wild animals. The number of Siberian tigers and Amur leopards has exceeded 50 and 60, respectively.
A plan for the spatial layout of national parks, prepared in accordance with the requirements of establishing a national park system with the largest protection scale, the most diverse natural ecological and geographical features, and the highest conservation value in the world, will be released soon, Li said. ■