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Beijing to plant more trees to combat pollution

(Xinhua)

08:47, February 09, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A total of 133 square km of trees will be planted on the outskirts of Beijing this year to improve air quality, according to Beijing Municipal Gardening and Greening Bureau.

The move is one of the eight plans to reduce air pollution in the capital. The measures were unveiled after fierce online public debate on PM2.5 and PM10 erupted at the end of 2011 over why pollution readings of Beijing's weather forecast station and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing often differed.

The bureau said the new forests will mainly cover both sides of the sixth-ring road and important river roads, as well as 50 villages that will be relocated in the suburban areas.

According to the project, the Beijing Olympic Forest Park will be extended to the sixth ring road in the northern part of the city and in the east, the areas surrounding Beijing Capital International Airport will also be planted with trees.

The measure is intended to build several "green channels" by connecting the green areas in downtown Beijing with the forests in the suburbs to improve the city's air quality.

Beijing's environment authority launched the much-anticipated PM2.5 measure of air quality in January, which is considered stricter than previous PM10 standard, as it monitors "fine" particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter.

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