BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- China will expand the area of national reserve forests by more than 36 million mu (2.4 million hectares) in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), said a forestry official Friday.
The country also plans to increase its forest stock volume by over 70 million cubic meters in these five years, Zhang Liming, an official with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, told a press conference.
China has planted more than 92 million mu of reserve forests since the country started a project to build such forests in 2012 to meet the domestic timber demand, according to Zhang.
As the world's largest timber importer and second-largest timber consumer, China imports over one-third of the logs traded worldwide.
Over the past decade, the forest stock volume in project areas increased by 270 million cubic meters, and the national reserve forests produced about 150 million cubic meters of timber, Zhang revealed.
The forest reserve project has also created more than 3.6 million jobs, made over 150 billion yuan (about 22.3 billion U.S. dollars) of revenue from timber production, and facilitated the establishment of over 2,700 processing enterprises.
Zhang said China would next push forward the high-quality development of national reserve forests via means such as innovating investment and financing channels, as well as creating new models of property rights and business operations. ■