SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- A senior United Nations official on Monday evening lauded China's effort in biodiversity conservation measures that is already exceeding the targets set by the UN Convention of Biodiversity (CBD).
Cristiana Palmer, executive secretary of the CBD, noted that China is now showing leadership that should be emulated by other countries.
"I am delighted to see that the Chinese government has given prominence to conservation efforts that we are today celebrating," Palmer said at the launch of China's Sixth National Report to the CBD on the sidelines of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Palmer noted that by putting emphasis on the vision of ecological civilization, the country is reporting successes as underlined in the CBD targets.
She said that with the country's leadership, the world will be in a position to meet the set targets.
Bai Chengshou, a senior official from China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said that by the end of 2017, China has established 2,750 natural reserves covering a total land area of 147.17 million hectares, accounting for 14 percent of the country's total land area.
"We have also conducted a series of protection and conservation activities for lakes and forests in an effort to conserve biodiversity," he added.
He said that China has also conserved lots of wildlife including the then threatened pandas whose population has increased tenfold.
The official revealed that China has established 200 botanical garners that preserve 23,000 plant species with 60 percent native species.
"We have completed afforestation of 35 million hectares since 2013-2017, banned commercial logging of natural forests and increased forest stock," he added.
According to Bai, China has restored 1,500 wetlands that were initially threatened with demise during the year 2011-2016 and also helped reduce air pollution and dust.
The report shows that China has exceeded the implementation of Aichi Biodiversity targets 14, 15 and 17 that includes creating ecosystems that provides essential services taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable, and enhanced conservation and restoration of at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification by 2020.
The country has also exceeded in adopting policy instrument and has commenced implementing an effective, participatory and updated national biodiversity strategy and action plan.
The UN Biodiversity Conference 2018 has been ongoing from Nov. 13-29 in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh. Representatives from about 196 states, under the slogan of "investing in biodiversity for people and plan" are attending the conference.