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China Reduces Lumbering to Protect Forests
Since 1998, China has reduced its annual lumber output by 19.9 million cubic meters in an effort to protect its diminishing and vulnerable forests.

Five years ago, when floods devastated the Yangtze River area, claiming a huge number of lives and generating huge financial losses, the government launched its new policy on lumbering reduction in the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys and in the northeastern provinces.

By 2000, all wood-cutting activities had been suspended in the Yangtze River and Yellow River areas, involving over 30 million hectares of land.

Lumbering companies in the northeast are ordered to reduce 41 percent of output this year, according to local officials.

The northeastern region produces one-third of the country's wood output, and the central government wants the region to gradually reduce lumbering in phases.

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2003)

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