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China’s forest cover to reach 23 pct by 2020, says UN report

Updated: May 27,2016 1:45 PM     Xinhua

Photo taken on May 4, 2016 shows the wharf of Dongping National Forest Park in Shanghai, east China.[Photo/Xinhua]

An estimated 23 percent of total land mass in China will be covered by forests by 2020 if the Asian giant implements ambitious goals spelt out in its ecological civilization blueprint, said a UNEP report on May 26.

Entitled “Green is gold: The strategy and actions of China’s ecological civilization,” the report was launched on the sidelines of the ongoing second edition of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA2) in Nairobi.

The UNEP report analyzes the environmental dimension of China’s 13th five-year plan and concluded Beijing was on course to attain ecological renewal.

Chinese Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner attended the launch of the report.

It indicated that besides expanding forest cover, China is committed to reducing water and carbon footprints thanks to adoption of cleaner technologies in various sectors of the economy.

According to the report, China has pledged to reduce water and energy consumption by 23 and 15 percent respectively in a bid to cut down on carbon emissions.

Steiner lauded China’s bold initiatives to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economic development.

“If China succeeds in implementing targets outlined in its ecological civilization blue print, then it will have taken a major step towards shifting to a greener economy,” Steiner remarked.

China in its bold step to build eco-civilization aims to limit consumption of fossil fuels in key sectors like transport and manufacturing.

The UNEP report noted that by 2014, China had built 10.5 billion square meter of energy saving buildings in urban areas.

It disclosed that China’s production of energy efficient vehicles increased 45 fold between 2011 to 2015.

China, according to the UNEP report, has also built the largest air quality monitoring network in the developing world.

Steiner noted that China has set ambitious green goals that should be replicated in other parts of the world.

“There has been unprecedented progress in policy reforms that have accelerated green transformation in China,” said the UNEP chief.