China makes significant improvements to its environment: Min

2019-09-30 Interior News
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Beijing's air quality has been improved. [Photo/IC]
China has made significant improvements to its environment thanks to major greening projects and strong efforts protecting its natural reserve areas, said a top official from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Sunday.
 
In the past 70 years, China has built 2,750 natural reserves, covering a total area of 1.47 million square kilometers, accounting for 15 percent of the country's total land area, according to Huang Runqiu, vice-minister of ecology and environment.
 
"Together with other natural protected areas, now about 18 percent of China's land areas are under protection," Huang said.
 
He said China has already achieved the goal raised by the United Nation's Convention on Biological Diversity to protect 17 percent of the planet's land areas and conserve 60 percent of the world's plant species by the year 2020.
 
Huang said China has witnessed an historic improvement in its ecology thanks to major greening programs, including the Natural Forest Protection Program and the Program of Turning Farmland into Forest and Grassland.
 
The country's forest coverage has grown from eight percent in the early 1950s to 22.96 percent last year, according to Huang.
 
Newly added green areas in China in the past two decades account for 25 percent of the global increase – the biggest share worldwide.
 
The State Council in July unveiled a guideline to build a mechanism for nature reserve areas, aiming to improve protection of nature reserve areas and reach world-leading management levels, as well as protection, by 2035.
 
"The new mechanism with national parks as a major component released recently will further contribute to the construction of a beautiful China," said Li Ganjie, minister of the of ecology and environment.
 
Huang said China also faces challenges in this field.
 
"The spaces for forests, grassland and wetland are still limited. Some regions have problems of ecological degradation and the ecological systems are fragile," he said.
 
,The country's forest and wetland area per person is still low – only a quarter of the world average.
 
"We will further promote President Xi Jinping's thoughts on ecology and environment protection, speed up the construction of the supervision system on the protection work, make more efforts on biodiversity protection, and enhance our management capacities to build the country a beautiful China," Huang said.