BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's state media Xinhua News Agency, in cooperation with the State Forestry Administration (SFA), will kick off a serious of multimedia reports on Monday to mark the country's 35th anniversary of the shelter forest project.
The reports, under the name "Green Ribbon of the Earth," will highlight the achievements and experience gained during the 35-year operation of the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program, a national project aimed at fighting land desertification.
Launched in 1978, the project consists of forestation in northwest, north and northeast China, in order to reduce local grasslands becoming deserts.
The project is expected to be completed by 2050 and cover 4.07 million square km, including over 90 percent of the country's regions hit the hardest by sandstorms and water and soil erosion.
Latest SFA data showed that the forest coverage in the treated areas had increased to 12.4 percent at the end of 2012 from 5.05 percent in 1977.
Xinhua said it will send reporters to 13 provincial regions and municipalities involved in the project. A total of 41 local print and online media organizations will join the reporting, and the reports will be mainly published on new media outlets.
The event is in line with China's latest moves to balance economic development and environmental protection, amid its switch into a sustainable growth model.
In May, President Xi Jinping pledged that China will not sacrifice the environment for temporary economic growth, followed by strengthened efforts of the central government to boost green industries and curb air and water pollution.
The SFA also said in mid-July that China will spend 212.9 billion yuan (34.5 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020 to fund forestry projects, planning to increase the country's forest coverage rate by 4.1 percent.
China's forest coverage totaled 195 million hectares (1.95 million square km), or 20.36 percent of the country's total area, as of the end of 2008.