China spent over 44.89 billion yuan
(US$5.5 billion) in the past seven years on protecting natural
forests, said sources with the State Forestry Administration in
The bulk of the investment, about 42
billion yuan (US$5.18 billion), was provided by government, the
Since the forest protection scheme
started in 1998, it has saved wood on 130.82 million cubic meters
by reducing tree felling quotas.
In the 30 years ending the 1980s,
China encouraged tree felling in large natural forest zones to
supply enough timber for its expanding economy.
Years' of excessive exploitation has
reduced the number of trees and seriously damaged ecological
balance in natural forest zones.
The forest protection program
designs to entail over 100 billion yuan (US$12.3 billion) within 10
years to recover the ecology of natural forests.
Following seven years' investment,
tree felling for commercial use has been prohibited in the upper
reaches of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River. Key state-owned
forest zones in the northeast region and the Inner Mongolia
Autonomous Region have reduced the number of trees cut down every
A survey on the water and soil
conservation in 2003 shows that the acreage of soil erosion along
the Yangtze River has reduced by 50 percent over the past few years
and that in the Three Gorges Reservoir area reduced by 23.9
percent. The Yellow River area saw a drop of 30 percent in soil
erosion area in 2003.
(Xinhua News Agency August 8,