Tibet increases green coverage by 82,666 hectares this year
2014/11/15

LHASA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's Tibet Autonomous Region has finished this year's afforestation project with increased forest coverage of 82,666 hectares, up by 23 percent from last year.

According to Tibet's forestry department, the region has planted 32,140 hectares of trees and closed off 50,526 hectares of hills and mountains for tree and grass growth.

Dong Yijun, an official with the department, said the increase in the green coverage area was not only the result of efforts made by local governments, but also the residents' growing environmental awareness.

Zhaxi, a villager in the city of Xigaze, has been voluntarily planting trees on local hills for the past 12 years.

"The forest not only helps improve air quality, but also provides us with timber. Growing and selling seedlings is also very profitable," he said.

An afforestation project covering six major rivers in the region kicked off in March with total investment of 30 billion yuan (4.89 billion U. S. dollars).

The project plans to reforest 670,000 hectares of land to conserve soil and water resources along the Yarlung Zangbo, Ngulchu, Lhasa, Nyangchu, Nyakchu and Sengye Khabap rivers by 2030.

The local government of Tibet plans to increase the region's forest coverage by 260,000 hectares from 2011 to 2015.

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