The world's largest green initiative turned 40 years this year. The national voluntary tree-planting campaign, launched in China with a government resolution in 1981, has seen volunteers plant 76 billion trees across the country since then, joined by institutions and enterprises.
Since the afforestation project was launched, March 12 has been a green-letter day, when trees are planted and other activities are held nationwide, boosting the campaign.
According to satellite monitoring results released by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2019, in the past 20 years, the increase of vegetation in China accounted for 25 percent of the world's total new greenery.
In addition, according to surveys of China's forest resources conducted by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, China has maintained dual growth in both forest area and forest stock for 30 years in a row, making it the country with the largest increase in forest resources in the world.
The national voluntary tree-planting campaign has created a means of greening with Chinese characteristics in line with the laws of nature and national conditions. It has made outstanding contributions to the global response to climate change, low carbon development and emission reduction. It has strengthened desert control and ecological governance.
The national campaign has become an important way for the Chinese to promote the concept of ecological progress, boosting common understanding and joint efforts.
However, despite the progress, China is still a country with a low forest cover. Though the green initiative has increased the forest cover from 12 percent four decades ago to the present 23.04 percent, it is still far from creating the beautiful ecological environment that people are demanding today.
This year marks the beginning of a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country in all aspects. Green development and ecological progress are the focus of the modernization drive.
Therefore in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period and the longer period through 2035, the campaign will continue to build a beautiful China and benefit all humanity.
(Print Edition Title: Green for a Greater Goal)