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Workers pile logs at a lumber market in Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning province in 2007. Logging is now prohibited until 2020 in the Great and Lesser Hinggan Mountains in Heilongjiang province, also in the northeast. ((Associated Press))

China has banned logging in its largest forest reserve area for 10 years in a bid to combat climate change.

The official Xinhua News agency reported Monday that logging will be prohibited until 2020 in the Great and Lesser Hinggan Mountains in the northeast.

The ban is part of a forest protection program by the National Development and Reform Commission and State Forestry Administration.

China is trying to increase the size of its forests by 40 million hectares to help reduce greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

The forest reserve in the Hinggan mountains spreads out over 430,000 square kilometres across Heilongjiang province and into neighbouring Inner Mongolia.