BEIJING, June 1 (Xinhua) -- A white paper issued by China's State Council Information Office on Thursday said solid progress has been made in ecological development of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
According to the white paper, titled "Human Rights in Xinjiang - Development and Progress," Xinjiang has carried out a number of projects, including natural forest protection, returning farmland to forest or grassland, prevention and control of desertification and wildlife protection to constantly improve the ecological environment.
Since 2016, projects involving high energy consumption, serious pollution, and high emissions have been strictly prohibited in Xinjiang, the white paper noted.
As of the end of 2016, oasis forest coverage had reached 24 percent, grassland comprehensive vegetation coverage had reached 41 percent, and the forest network was providing effective protection to 95 percent of the farmland, it said.
Of the 79 major rivers in Xinjiang, 94 percent have high water quality. Wetlands total more than 3.94 million hectares in area. There are 29 state- and autonomous region-level nature reserves, 28 state-level wetland parks, and one world natural heritage site.
The white paper said that obvious results have been seen in energy conservation and emission reduction.
During the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, chemical oxygen demand, and ammonia nitrogen decreased by 39 percent, 38 percent, 44 percent and 43 percent respectively compared to the previous five-year plan period, it said.