China’s Empty Forests – Yongfeng Feng
Every year around this time, many cities and regions of China hold a tree-planting month. Employers in the cities often fund tree-planting outings for their staff. In counties, towns and villages, farmers are given support for tree-planting projects, which they hope will bring in some extra earnings. A renewed enthusiasm for greening the country seems to take hold of everyone.
The Chinese government has committed itself to achieving a target of 20% forest cover by 2010. And as a result, the State Forestry Administration has been promoting greater integration between forestry and the paper industry, as well as promoting tree-planting initiatives, especially of fast-growing, high-yield trees. However, just as these measures are being enthusiastically put into place, something very worrying is happening to China’s forests – they are becoming empty. So, how are these “empty forests” being created? [Full Text]