Shanxi prioritizes environmental protection
North China's Shanxi province has prioritized environmental protection and continuously improved its ecological carrying capacity of sustainable development in recent years.
The province has planted more than 15,382 square kilometers of trees during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20) and completed 2,720.67 sq km of afforestation in 2020, exceeding the annual target.
According to the 2019 annual provincial forest resource inventory, Shanxi's forest area reached 36,339.53 sq km, with a forest coverage rate of 23.18 percent, higher than the national average of 23.04 percent.
By the end of 2020, the province's comprehensive grassland vegetation coverage reached 73 percent, and 73,780 sq km of area suffering from soil erosion was treated.
It was home to two national forest cities, 61 suburban forest parks, 255 national forest villages, and 22 national ecological and cultural villages. The counties of Youyu, Qinyuan, Ruicheng, Qinshui, and Puxian were named national demonstration counties of ecological civilization construction.
Biodiversity protection has also seen remarkable results.
Up to now, nature reserves have accounted for 11.2 percent of the province's land area. A wild animal and plant protection network, with 272 provincial-level nature reserves, 125 State-owned forest farms, 83 forest parks, and 63 wetland parks, has been formed.
A total of 2,743 species of wild plants and 541 species of terrestrial vertebrates have been identified in Shanxi, and around 85 percent of the province's wild animals and plants are now protected.