China steps up protection of forests, grassland

An official report has shown that China has channelled more energy into the protection of forests and grasslands last year – the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) cracked down on violations such as illegal logging in 2018, launching a special campaign code-named “Hurricane No.1”, and imposing fines totalling 1.68 billion yuan (USD 250 million) in 183,000 forest-related cases.

About 207,000 cubic metres of timber and 175,000 wild animals were confiscated in those cases, and 15,000 hectares of forests and 863.4 hectares of national reserves were recovered.

The NFGA also investigated damage of 7,646.6 hectares of grassland last year.

These crackdowns came as the country attached greater significance to environmental protection. China planted 7.07 million hectares of new forest in 2018, and plans to increase forest coverage by 6.73 million hectares this year.

In 2018, China launched the first public forest monitoring, the ninth national check of forest resources, and the first carbon sink calculation to improve the management of forests and grassland resources.