BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- China will continue promoting afforestation and protecting forest resources to improve the quality of ecology and environment, a forest official said.
Through decades of afforestation, China's forest coverage rate has risen from 12 percent in the early 1980s to 23.04 percent currently, said Liu Dongsheng, deputy director of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The country has seen its forest stock volume hit 17.56 billion cubic meters, boasting the world's largest area of planted forests, Liu said.
Liu attributed such progress to persistent nationwide afforestation efforts, adding that China's forested area and forest stock volume have kept growing for 30 consecutive years.
Stressing the remaining problems of unbalanced afforestation and ecological fragility, Liu said that the country will plan for the lands to be afforested scientifically, and take into full consideration different areas' water resource carrying capacity.
The country will also combine nature's self-healing with human-induced vegetation restoration, and tailor afforestation measures for different natural conditions.
Citing China's pledge to increase the forest stock volume by 6 billion cubic meters by 2030 from the 2005 level, Liu said the country will maximize the use of wastelands and abandoned mines for afforestation, and step up measures to prevent forest fires and pests.
Stricter quota management will be imposed on forest logging, while efforts will also go into improving the value realization mechanism for ecological products, Liu added.