Inner Mongolia adds 17 mln hectares of forest area over 70 years
HOHHOT, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The total forest area of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has increased to 26.13 million hectares from 9.13 million hectares in the early days of New China, marking a net gain of nearly 17 million hectares within 70 years, according to the autonomous regional government.
At present, the forest area of the region ranked first in the country, and its forest coverage rate has expanded from 7.73 percent to 22.1 percent, an increase of 14.37 percentage points, said the government.
Inner Mongolia has always attached great importance to ecological construction and protection. In particular, at the turn of the 21st century, the autonomous region launched a series of major ecological projects, including the Three North Shelterbelt Project (or Sanbei Shelter-forest Project) and a project turning marginal farmland into forests.
Meanwhile, commercial logging of natural forests in the region has been halted since April 2015 in a bid to help restore the ecosystem, with timber cutting reduced by about 1.51 million cubic meters annually.
Inner Mongolia is home to several large deserts. Curbing desertification has been high on the agenda of the region's ecological campaign.