China to boost forest and grass industries

China aims to boost the annual output of its forest and grass industry to 9 trillion yuan ($1.42 trillion) by 2025, according to a five-year plan released recently by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

In the next four years, China will establish a relatively complete modern forest and grass industry and build itself into a leader in the international trading of forest and grass products, with annual imports and exports reaching a value of $195 billion by 2025.

“Related production, trade and consumption will rely more on the domestic market,” the plan said. “The forest and grass industry will show improved performance in safeguarding the country’s ecological, wood, oil and power safety.”

Forest and grassland covers the once barren mountains in Youyu county, Shanxi province. [Photo provided to China Daily] 

It identified 12 key subsectors for future development, including wood processing, the bamboo industry, traditional Chinese herbs, ecotourism and biomass energy.

Statistics from the administration showed that the value of the forest and grass industry hit 8.1 trillion yuan in 2020.

Under the plan, China will expand the area of plants that have economic value to 43 million hectares by 2025, with the planting area for wood oil, for example, reaching about 18 million hectares.

Under the plan, major wood oil production bases, including the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and the provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi, will expand their planting areas and optimize industrial distribution, an official from the administration said.

The plan is also expected to boost the country’s eco-friendly tourism, entertainment, sports and other cultural activities.

The industry witnessed 2.09 billion eco-visits last year, according to the administration, and that is expected to climb to 2.5 billion by 2025.

“In the next five years, we will speed up the construction of national forest tracks and encourage the development of quality ecotourism,” the plan said, noting that the total length of forest tracks across the country will exceed 35,000 kilometers during the period.

Wood processing will also see greater opportunities thanks to the plan, which encourages green reforms in the whole industrial process from the introduction of environmentally friendly facilities to more stringent emission standards.

The plan also advocates the processing of bamboo products, including into furniture, instruments, shoots, charcoal, fiber, paper and construction materials.

The comprehensive utilization of bamboo, bamboo leaves, bamboo shoots and processing residues will be vigorously developed. By 2025, the total output value of the bamboo industry will reach 700 billion yuan, the plan said.

On Feb 11, 2022 the administration announced the approval of another 59 national forest and grass demonstration zones, bringing the country’s total to 75.

Source: Qiushi, 2022-02-24.

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