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Vice Premier Calls for More Forestation Efforts

Vice Premier Hui Liangyu urged related departments and the public to focus on ecological civilization construction, deepen forestation reform and further foster modern forestation.

In 2007, China's forest acreage increased 5.2 million hectares in a year when Chinese planted about 2.27 billion trees voluntarily, Hui said Thursday at a work meeting attended by the country's central and local forestry administration heads.

In addition, the output of the country's forestry sector reached 1.17 billion yuan (US$161.3 billion), up 9.85 percent year on year.

This year, China plans to plant 5.3 million hectares of trees with volunteers planting about 2.5 billion trees.

Hui said the country should also focus on improving the efficiency and profit of its forestry.

China's top legislative body, the National People's Congress (NPC), passed a resolution in 1981 that makes it a duty of all citizens above the age of 11 to plant trees annually.

The tree-planting drive is part of a campaign to boost green coverage to 20 percent of the country by 2010.

In 2006, China's forest coverage reached 175 million hectares, raising the green space to 18.21 percent, compared with 12 percent in 1981.

(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2008)

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