China to re-assign 60,000 troops to plant trees

Over 60,000 Chinese soldiers are being re-assigned to plant trees as the country works towards increasing its forest coverage to 23% of total landmass by 2020.

In 2018, China will be planting new forests over 84,000 sq km, which is roughly the size of Ireland, as it aims to increase its forest coverage area from 21% to 23% of the landmass by the end of the decade.

According to Asia Times, in addition to the nation’s armed police force, a large regiment of the People’s Liberation Army have been withdrawn from northern border areas and tasked with a new mission of planting trees.

Zhang Jianlong, head of the State Forestry Administration, said at a meeting last week that China would aim to grow at least 6.66 million hectares of new forest this year.

China’s total forested area is now around 208 million hectares, with 33.8 million hectares having been added in the past five years.

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