BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Water Resources announced on Thursday a plan to treat water and soil loss problems over the next five years.
The plan, which covers 279 counties across 20 provincial-level regions, aims to treat water and soil losses over 30,000 square km of land during the 2013-2017 period, according to a statement on the ministry's website.
It is expected that 70 percent of the land affected by such problems will be treated and the forest coverage ratio in these regions will be raised to 50 percent. The project will not only boost economic growth in local regions, but contribute to environmental protection.
Thirteen million residents will be lifted out of poverty through the expansion of farmland and forest under the plan.
The plan has been jointly approved by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water Resources.
China first launched such projects in 1983. Over the years, a total of 58,300 square km of land affected by water and soil losses has been treated.