The State Council, China's cabinet, named nine counties in East China’s Anhui province key eco-functional zones, calling upon them to stick to green growth, Anhui Daily reported Friday.
All located in the southern part of the province, the counties include Shexian, Jixi, Jingde as well as the county-level district of Huangshan, the report said.
Key eco-functional areas are intended to conserve water and soil, protect against gales, stabilize sand and preserve bio-diversity.
As of September 30, 676 counties around the country, making up 53 percent of the territory, have been designated as national key eco-functional zones.
The State Council urged those regions to strengthen ecological protection and restoration but moderate industrialization and urbanization.
More incentives will be introduced to stimulate the development of the regions, the central government said in a statement Wednesday.