Is China catching up in its reforestation efforts?

Over the past century, China has had policies in place regarding their forests that have cost them incredible amounts of improper deforestation in the North and Northwest regions of China. This intense deforestation model has led to soil erosion and desertification. China has set itself a goal to raise its overall forest coverage rate to 24.1% by the year 2025. China has become assertive in its reforestation strategies and has a goal to not only assist in calming down the effects of erosion and desertification but also help with the carbon offset of the country as a whole. 

China accounts for around 28% of global emissions produced. This staggering number shows that there is a growing need for a re-imagining of the carbon policy. One approach has been to strive for a net-zero carbon target by 2060. Reforestation is a large part of the efforts to achieve this goal. However, the scale with which this is going to have to take place is astronomical. The city of Beijing, with a population of 20 million would have to plant approximately 15 million trees per year in order to begin to offset the annual emissions of the city. But China also shows us how effective it can be by planting 6.77 million hectares of forest within one year.

What Can We Learn From China?

One of the greatest lessons we can learn from this case study is that China has begun to take decisive action on a very serious issue. The country sees the devastating effects that deforestation had on their country and realized change was necessary. Efforts are going into making the nation thrive in nature.  Tree planting has made its way up to the policy level and can start to make an impact on the country as a whole. 

Not only is this benefiting the environment in China but it is benefiting the people who live there. From providing jobs to creating cleaner air, the living conditions in the country will hope to see improvement. Reforestation brings many benefits and we can take a look at China as an example of how prioritizing reforestation can mean positive change at scale for our world. 

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