Trees cover a hillside in Wuqi, Shaanxi province, the first county involved in the Conversion of Cropland to Forest and Grassland Program, in last June. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING — China has issued a guideline to implement a “forest chief” scheme nationwide amid the country’s continuous efforts to protect forests and grasslands.
It was issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council and urged that the “forest chief” scheme will be rolled out nationwide by June 2022.
“General forest chiefs” should be appointed in all provincial-level regions, said the guideline. It clarified all levels of forest chiefs’ responsibilities in protecting forest and grassland resources.
Under the scheme, China will strengthen ecological protection and restoration of forests and grasslands, promote large-scale afforestation, and enhance monitoring and supervision for forest and grassland resources by utilizing modern information technologies.
Efforts will also encourage the prevention and control of harmful pests and plant diseases, as well as natural disasters such as fires.
China started trials of the “forest chief” scheme in 2017, and so far up to 23 provincial regions, including Anhui, Jiangxi and Chongqing, have already carried out the trial program, providing the foundation for nationwide implementation.
“Nationwide implementation of the ‘forest chief’ scheme is a key step in enhancing local responsibilities in ecological protection,” said Guan Zhiou, head of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
Indicators measuring the performance of “forest chiefs” will include forest coverage, forest stock volume, comprehensive vegetation coverage of grassland and the area of desertified land restored, while specific targets will be tailored in accordance with local conditions, according to Guan.
He said he believes nationwide implementation of the scheme will help pool resources and strength to enhance the protection of China’s forest and grassland resources.