In addition, the authorities have announced a major reforestation programme that will see 6.6 million hectares planted with trees—a size equivalent to double the area of Belgium. The reforms are set to be completed over the next five years.
In China, many state owned forestry companies are struggling as a result of over-exploitation over the last 30 years. In an effort to protect jobs the government has announced grants to allow the businesses to seeking alternative sources of income.
For instance, some of the forestry business will be looking at operating as nature reserves and eco-tourism while others are expected to look for alternative and more sustainable income streams.
Meanwhile, some forestry zones will be closed completely to commercial logging. The Greater Hinggan Mountain forest zone in Inner Mongolia for example, is due to close after 60 years of logging resulted from lacking of suitable trees. The business is reported to searching for other eco-tourism based work.
Shortly after the formal statement on the reforms it was announced that the European Investment Bank (EIB) would be proving over £25 million (US$27.1 million) loan to Liaoning province to help pay towards a reforestation programme. The money will be used to replant 23,000 hectares of forests.
It is the first tranche of loan to China that will go to eight different provinces that have been approved by the EIB for reforestation loans.