BEIJING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- President Hu Jintao on Tuesday called for more efforts in promoting a voluntary tree-planting campaign to provide ecological support to China's scientific development.
Introduced in 1981, the campaign remains effective in coping with climate change, improving ecological environment and achieving greener growth, said Hu at a high-profile tree-planting activity featuring the entire Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Senior leaders Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang also took part in the annual event.
"We should further mobilize the public and take full advantage of science and technologies in promoting the campaign," said Hu.
Chinese volunteers have planted about 61.4 billion trees across the country over the past three decades, statistics from the State Forestry Administration (SFA) show.
Hu also urged the municipal authority of the Chinese capital to speed up the building of a greener Beijing and improve the quality of environment in an all-round way.
Beijing has to pioneer in the national drive towards ecological development, Hu told Beijing municipal officials.
The central government has invested heavily in key shelterbelt construction in northern China to control sandstorm in Beijing and adjacent port city Tianjin.
A previous SFA report said the move was part of the country's efforts in increasing its "forest carbon sink capacity," the use of its forested areas to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby helping to address global climate change.
The country's forest coverage reached 20.36 percent in 2010, up from 18.2 percent in 2005, and is expected to further increase to 21.66 percent by 2015.