China targets illegal forest purchases

China has responded to widespread illegal logging in the country by putting a hold on the sale and leasing of state-owned forests, reported the Shanghai Daily on Thursday.

The move was sparked after a number of illegal operations were uncovered by the State Forestry Administration in a recent nationwide review.

Cao Qingyao, a spokesman for the administration, said a large number of forests have been chopped down to make way for new infrastructure, including the construction of railways, roads, hydropower stations, and electricity facilities.

The administration has ordered the Hainan Jinhai Pulp and Paper Co, a branch of Indonesian-based Asia Pulp and Paper Co, to hold off purchasing a large area of state-owned forest.

Cao said Jinhai had breached rules by attempting to acquire a 58% stake in the state-owned Yunnan Yunjing Forestry and Pulp Company in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, involving a transfer of 66,667 hectares of woodland.

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photo by Autan