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Hebei to help Beijing fight sandstorms

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-03-11 17:08

Hebei province will plant more than 100 million trees in areas around the capital this year to keep it from being hit by sandstorms, the provincial forestry bureau said.

Planting of the new green belt, with a total area of 280,000 hectares, started from the south in the spring - a good season for planting trees as well as the peak time for sandstorms in northern China, the Forestry Department of Hebei province said on March 10, chinanews.com reported.

"The reduction of desertification in Hebei was the largest during the 11th Five-Year Plan period in China," Liu Fengting, deputy director of the department said.

The province has released 10 green projects focusing on environmental protection during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), increasing the forestry area by 1.4 million hectares in the province.

By 2015, the province will have 5.8 million hectares of forest, increasing its coverage to 31 percent.

Hebei, the province circling Beijing and Tianjin, is regarded as the last green barrier to protect the two cities from sandstorms. The government has focused on planting trees to extend the belt since 2001 when the first national project on controlling the sandstorms in these areas was released.

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