Inner Mongolia forest coverage rate rises to 22.1 per cent

North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has reached a forest coverage rate of 22.1 per cent, up 1.07 percentage points compared with that in 2017, according to the latest data released by the region’s forestry and grassland bureau.

As of now, the autonomous region has a total forest area of over 26 million hectares as the local government beefs up efforts to control the degradation of its vast grasslands and halt desertification over the years.

Inner Mongolia is home to several large deserts such as Badain Jaran, Tengger, Ulan Buh and Kubuqi. Curbing desertification has been high on the agenda of the region’s ecological campaign.

In the past five years, the region saw an annual planting area of about 667,000 hectares, accounting for one-ninth of the country’s total, said Zhang Genxi with the local forestry and grassland bureau.

In 2018, the region prevented and controlled about 846,667 hectares of lands from desertification, Zhang added.

Meanwhile, the autonomous region has prohibited commercial logging of natural forests since March 1, 2015, and reduced timber cutting by about 1.51 million cubic metres annually.

Inner Mongolia aims to increase its average vegetation coverage of grasslands to about 46 per cent by 2020.