China's forests help boost sustainable development
May 25,2022   By:CHINA DAILY

Aerial photo taken on Aug 23, 2021 shows a view of the Saihanba forest farm in North China's Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]
May 25, 2022 -- According to the World Bank, climate change is a challenge to every country, and also the most significant challenge to achieving sustainable development.
As the world's largest developing country, China has been very active in participating in global climate governance.
In 2020, at the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping announced via a video message that China would strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
To achieve that transition and the commitment, the country has made changes to the economic structure, introduced industrial upgrades, further optimized the energy structure and promoted the green low-carbon concept in all sectors.
Green development has been highlighted as a key concept in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), in which China has pledged to boost low-carbon development, efficient and safe use of clean energy, reduce carbon intensity and support different areas of the country to help peak carbon dioxide emissions as early as possible.
Afforestation is also playing a role in the nation's efforts to meet its upgraded international commitments to mitigate climate change.
China is home to the world's fastest-growing forest resources. In 2019, NASA satellites showed that the world is literally greener than it was 20 years ago, and China is leading the way.
Over the past year, 3.6 million hectares of forests have been added, over double the area of Beijing.
The country has 220 million hectares of forests, and its forest coverage stood at 23.04 percent by the end of last year, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
Two years ago, the administration announced that China will increase the volume of forest stock by 1.4 billion cubic meters by 2025, enough to absorb 2.56 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.
It also noted that China's forest stock volume is expected to reach 19 billion cu m by the same year.
The growing stock volume-the total volume of the stems of all living trees within a certain area-is often used in forest resource management and planning, and also as a predictor of carbon-related variables and carbon stocks.
Every additional 100 million cu m of growing stock volume can absorb 183 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Recent academic papers put China's forest carbon storage at about 9.2 billion tons, while the administration's data show that the number has been rising by at least 200 million tons a year for the past five years.
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