China completes green area of 70,000 square kilometers in 2022, roughly the size of Georgia: report

China completed green area of 70,000 square kilometers in 2022, roughly the size of Georgia, according to an official report published on Sunday, China’s National Tree Planting Day.

A total of 38,300 square kilometers land were forested in 2022; 32,140 square kilometers of land were improved by planting grass and addressing desertification and stony desertification of 18,473 square kilometers of land, according to a report published by an official affiliated with China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Currently, 2.31 million square kilometers of China are covered by forest, equal to a forest coverage rate of 24.01 percent. The country also possesses grassland area of 2.65 million square kilometers, making land covered by grass of 50.32 percent.

Over the past 10 years, areas impacted by water and soil erosion have decreased 212,300 square kilometers, and the land suffering from stony deforestation decreased 3,860 square kilometers, according to Wu Xiuli, an official from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Besides, the country is devoted to urban greening, making the per capita green space in cities increased from 11.8 square meters in 2011 to 14.78 square meters in 2021. A total of 32.01 percent of rural areas were covered by green areas.

China has also selected dozens of candidate areas for building national parks, in order to better protect wildlife species and their habitats. The spatial layout plan for the country’s national park system was announced in 2022, selecting 49 candidate sites, including the five national parks, covering an area of around 1.1 million square kilometers. These sites were selected based on their ecological importance, unique natural landscapes and rich biodiversity.

The candidate sites consist of 44 land areas, three sections of water and two land-sea areas, according to the plan.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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