China Will Plant New Forests The Size Of Belgium Until 2025

Oct 29, 2021by Olivia - F&F

To achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2060, China has announced a massive tree-planting project that will see 36,000 square kilometres of new forest area every year until 2025.

China Zhangjiajie National Forest ParkChina Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

China’s New ‘Land Greening’ Project

China is on a serious mission to restore its forests! In a recent announcement by China’s State Forestry and Grasslands Commission, the country plans on planting trees in an area greater than the size of Belgium every year until 2025.  

Li Chunliang, Vice-Chairman of the State Forestry and Grasslands Commission, described the project as “land greening”, and said that “by 2035, the quality and stability of national forest, grassland, wetland and desert ecosystems will have been comprehensively upgraded”.

It’s all part of the nation’s goal to combat climate change and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, the scheme will protect natural habitats and aid in species conservation! Recently, China celebrated the successful repopulation of the Giant Panda — which was all thanks to its massive tree-planting efforts!

China Xinjiang ForestChina Xinjiang Forest

China’s Goal Is 24% Forest Coverage By 2025!

By the end of 2025, China aims to increase its overall forest coverage to 24% — according to the State Forestry and Grasslands Commission. It isn’t clear what trees will be planted, but the strategy will rely on “natural reforestation” — especially in drought-prone areas in the country’s Northern and Western regions.

But, that’s not all! Over the next five years, China will expand its national park system, create forest corridors to boost animal habitats, and crack down on illegal hunting and wildlife trade. 

Plus, China has promised to create "ecological security barriers" and protect as much as a quarter of its total territory from human activity. Without industrial or agricultural expansion, China’s forests and animal habitats will be given the space to thrive, which will draw in carbon from the atmosphere and allow biodiversity to flourish.

China Tree PlantingChina Tree Planting

China Is Leading The Way In Global Reforestation Efforts

Did you know that China has achieved the most extensive reforestation of any country in the world? It began in the 1990’s via a range of national forestry programs, which has facilitated the largest ecological restoration project in the world. 

Since the late 1990’s, China has planted roughly 4 million hectares of forest every year. The country has increased its forest coverage from 12 percent in the early 1980s to 23.04 percent today — and, if all goes to plan — China will reach 24% by 2025. 

For China, the ultimate goal is reaching 30% forest cover over its land by 2050. This is a massive goal, considering the country is home to almost 1.4 billion people and plenty of manufacturing activity!

Flora & Fauna Carbon OffsetFlora & Fauna Carbon Offset

Deforestation & Tree-Planting Initiatives In Australia

If you didn’t know it already, Australia is destroying its forests at breakneck speed! Unfortunately, we’re losing roughly one MCG-sized area of forest and bushland every two minutes — making us one of the worst offenders in the developed world when it comes to deforestation. Aside from releasing stored carbon in the trees, deforestation is also the primary cause of mammal extinction in Australia. Clearing land for agriculture (mostly livestock), industry and transport has led to the extinction of 55 animal species and 37 plant species.

This is why we’re so proud to work with Greenfleet to offset our emissions and create new forests all around Australia. Greenfleet’s forests absorb carbon from the atmosphere, improve soil and water quality, and provide vital habitat for native wildlife — like Koalas in Gippsland! Read more about why we’re proudly offsetting our carbon with Greenfleet.

China is setting long-term, ambitious reforestation goals — this will place them in good stead to reach net-zero emissions by 2060 and improve their biodiversity loss. 

In Australia, we need stronger laws and protections for our precious forests, because it’s clear that we can’t continue clearing land at the current rate. If you’d like to plant a tree and help regenerate habitats for native species, head to WWF’s Regenerate Australia campaign — one signature = one tree planted!

For more tree-planting news and initiatives, head to the Eco News category and check out the blogs below. 

These Cities Are Rewilding Their Urban Spaces

Creating ‘Green’ Cities In Singapore & France

NSW’s New Outback Nature Reserve Will Protect Native Wildlife

More Articles