BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu urged related departments and the public to focus on the environment, deepen forestation reform and further foster modern forestation.
In 2008, China's forest acreage increased 4.77 million hectares, Hui said Thursday at a work meeting attended by the country's central and local forestry administration heads.
In addition, output of the country's forestry sector reached 1.33 trillion yuan (194 billion U.S. dollars), up 6.08 percent year on year. Forestry import and export volume was expected to surpass 70 billion U.S. dollars in 2008.
This year, China plans to plant 5.48 million hectares of trees. Volunteers will plant about 2.5 billion trees.
The State Forestry Administration head Jia Zhibang also said at the conference that authorities will add more forestry jobs and increase forestry farmer's income.
China's top legislative body, the National People's Congress (NPC), passed a resolution in 1981 making it a duty of all citizens above the age of 11 to plant trees annually.
The tree-planting drive is part of a campaign to boost green coverage to 20 percent of the country by 2010.