China is planting 6.6 million hectares of new trees in a colossal reforestation project that’s almost the size of Ireland.
The State Forestry Administration of China announced its ambitious plans to increase the country’s tree-covered territory from 21.7% to 23% by 2020 last week. New trees will be planted in the Hebei province, Qinghai province in the Tibetan Plateau, and in the Hunshandake Desert in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Head of the administration, Zhang Jianlon said the ‘massive greening campaign’ would be a collaboration between the state and private sector. In the last five years the country has spent ¥538bn (£61bn) on reforestation.
In 2014 it declared ‘war on pollution’ caused by the country’s break-neck industrial expansion, and the government has introduced a string of ‘ecological red line’ policies to curb expansion into forests and national parks.
Looking further ahead, Jianlong added that by 2035 the country aimed to up this threshold of tree-coverage to 26%.
Read next: Life inside China’s megacity Chongqing