China's new afforested area reaches 7 mln hectares in 2019
BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- China has made new strides in advancing afforestation in 2019 with the area of newly created forests totaling 7.07 million hectares, a report from the National Greening Commission said Wednesday.
The expansion was partly attributed to increasing public participation in voluntary tree planting, said the report.
More than 500 million people have participated in a virtual tree planting project in the mobile payment app Alipay. The project rewards low-carbon acts such as renting a bike or taking the bus with "energy" to "water" virtual trees, and the organizers will plant a real tree when a virtual tree grows up.
A total of 39,000 hectares of trees had been planted last year via the project, it said.
China also restored a total of 1.75 million hectares of degraded forests nationwide and improved 3.15 million hectares of degraded grasslands last year, according to the report.
China will mark its 42nd National Tree Planting Day, also known as Arbor Day, on Thursday.