East China's Anhui province has made new strides in advancing afforestation since 2016 with the area of new forests totaling 7.714 million mu (about 514,266 hectares), local authorities said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
The province has exceeded its targets for afforestation set for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), according to Niu Xiangyang, head of the Forestry Administration of Anhui Province.
In 2019, Anhui became the first in China to implement a “forest chief” system, which was then added to the newly revised version of Forest Law of China, Niu said.
The province’s forest coverage rate reached more than 30 percent during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Six cities were selected as National Forest Cities, bringing the provincial total to 11.
In addition, the province has designated 23 wetlands as wetland nature reserves and 68 ones as wetland parks since 2016. It has released the first list of 52 major wetlands. 50.02 percent of its wetlands are under protection.
The province will unveil the second list of major wetlands and strive to increase the rate of wetland protection to more than 53 percent in 2025, said Qi Xin, deputy head of the administration.