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Tibet's forests increased by 20,000 square km in 10 years

Source:China Tibet Online 2015年07月21日 10:44

Tibet's forest coverage has increased from a 12.37 percent share of the land to 14.01 percent since 2002, growing to 1.95 million hectares (or 19,500 square kilometers) in more than 10 years, according to the recent survey by the Tibet Forestry Department.

On April 8, the Forestry Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region announced the results of the second survey of two types of forest resources for the Tibet Autonomous Region. The survey found that within the 1,202,100-square-kilometer land in Tibet, 14.01 percent is covered by forests. Within this figure, the natural forests occupy 99.23 percent of the total forest area. The forests’ ecological structure remains intact and is in top condition, with natural resources largely existing in their original state. The forests’ ecosystems are stable; nutrients circulate and energy flows in a state of dynamic equilibrium.

Lei Guilong, director of the Forestry Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region, says that compared with the data collected from the first survey in 2002, Tibet’s forest area has increased by 1.95 million hectares, an increase of 13.09 percent, and forest reserves have increased by 193.2 million cubic meters, an increase of 10.21 percent. In more than 10 years, Tibet has achieved double growth in area of forest resources and volume of reserves, while its environmental quality continues to improve.

Lei Guilong says that the benefits resulting from the double growth of forest area and volume of reserves have been due to the fact that the Forestry Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region has continuously emphasized the importance of forestry on the Tibetan Plateau for the past few years. This has been done through implementing the protection of natural forests, returning farmland to forests, anti-desertification, and construction of a large number of key forestry projects for the protection of nature reserves, which have substantially accelerated the pace of reforestation. Effective protection of the ecological environment on the plateau means that the natural resources of the forests continue to increase.

Although the recent survey data shows forest resources in Tibet have increased somewhat, compared with the rest of the country, they are still insufficient. Tibet's Forestry Department said that from now on, through the establishment of a sound evaluation system for forest growth evaluation system, it will actively carry out research into the plateau's forest carbon credits, which will strengthen efforts to protect and develop Tibet's forest resources.

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