BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- China's 40th Arbor Day was observed Tuesday across the nation that is still on the way to make waters lucid and mountains greener.
Trees are the fundamental elements that help the country thrive. Here are the facts and figures related to China's afforestation efforts.
-- In 1979, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) decided to establish and annually celebrate the Arbor Day on March 12 .
-- In 1981, the NPC launched a nationwide voluntary tree planting campaign and stipulated that every able-bodied citizen above 11 should plant three to five trees each year. Since then, planting trees has become a duty of every Chinese citizen.
-- In 1984, the Standing Committee of the NPC adopted the Forestry Law. The law was amended in 1998.
-- In 2018, China reaffirmed its plan to increase its forest coverage to 23.04 percent by 2020 and 26 percent by 2035.
-- China aims to raise its total forest growing stock to 16.5 billion cubic meters and average growing stock to 95 cubic meters per hectare by 2020.
-- China will establish a total of 7 million hectares of reserve forest and construct 200 national forest cities, six national forest city clusters and 20,000 forest villages.
-- China aims to become a leading country in forestry by 2050.
-- In 2019, China plans to finish planting 6.67 million hectares of forest.
-- Forest coverage of China has increased nearly 10 percentage points to 21.66 percent since the reform and opening-up in 1978.
-- In areas where the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program was implemented to ward off sandstorms through afforestation, forest coverage has grown to 13.57 percent from 5.05 percent in 1977.
-- In late 2017, the Saihanba afforestation community won the UN Champions of the Earth Award for creating a vast man-made forest covering about 93,000 hectares in northern China and made great contributions to the restoration of degraded landscapes.
-- In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and the country is home to the world's largest man-made forest in scale.
-- A study in February using data from NASA satellites showed that China had contributed to over 25 percent of the increase in the global green leaf area since 2000s.