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APEC ministers hail China's efforts in sustainable forestry management

(Xinhua)

16:29, September 08, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Ministers and senior officials responsible for forestry from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies on Wednesday commended China's contribution to sustainable forestry management.

"China has done a great job in preventing illegal logging and recovering its forest resources through increasing public awareness of forestry and environmental protection and deepening forestry reforms," Miguel Cailaux Zazzali, Peru's Minister of Agriculture said on the sidelines of the First APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible For Forestry held here from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Igor A. Razumovskiy, counsellor of the Department of International Cooperation of the Russian Federation Federal Forestry Agency, said that China was playing a bigger role in the APEC forestry management with better forest utilization and increasing forestry coverage.

Razumovskiy said Russia and China should better cooperate in wood processing, forest fire prevention and monitoring, new materials technology and exchanges of information on forest rehabilitation and utilization.

"Forest land area has decreased in other continents, while only Asia is increasing forest cover because of China's contribution to reforestation," said Don Koo Lee, minister of the Korea Forest Service.

China aims to increase its total area of forests by 40 million hectares in the next decade, as compared with that in 2005.

China has 196 million hectares of forest, of which 61.68 million hectares were planted, according to the State Forestry Administration of China.

A statement released at the conclusion of the conference urged APEC economies to strengthen coordination and cooperation on forest policies.

Ministers and senior officials attending the meeting agreed to look into ways to combat illegal logging and boost tree planting.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the 21 members of the APEC which includes the United States, China and Japan.

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