|Photo take on April 24, 2014 shows an avenue with blooming flowers at the International Horticultural Exposition 2014 in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province. (Xinhua/Li Ziheng)|
QINGDAO, April 27 -- A horticulture expo in east China's Qingdao City is promoting environmental protection and a green future, attendees said on Saturday.
Hans Friederich, Director General of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) at the ongoing Qingdao International Horticultural Exhibition said he believes the expo will raise people's awareness and make them realize plants are not just beautiful to look at, but also have a role to play in better air quality, better life style and climate change.
"To have an expo like this really explains to people how important plants are, for our environment, and more importantly, for the urban environment and for people who live in rural areas," he said.
Officially opened on Friday, the 241-hectare garden has more than 1,800 types of plants, including 700 kinds of original plants from Qingdao.
The event, themed "from the earth and for the Earth", is expected to attract 12 million tourists before it ends on Oct. 25.
"People from all over the world will come to Qingdao, and when they see what I have seen, they will be delighted. Millions of people will be inspired, and the benefits will be enjoyed today and in future generations," said Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).
Exhibitions that showcase environmentally friendly ways of processing waste, a pavilion that demonstrates an energy-saving water recycling system and works of art that promote the frugal use of natural resources are on display.
"By using visible green technologies, we hope to send an invisible message to the public of what eco-friendly technology and lifestyles should be like. Hopefully, visitors will be inspired to live a green, low-carbon life," said Li Fengli, general-secretary of the expo organizing committee.
To ensure that visitors to the expo park are exposed to a variety of "green" technology, gardening artists and architects have been encouraged to use materials that are renewable and environmentally friendly.
The skeleton of the Plants Garden is made out of steel and recyclable glass that can be disassembled and reused, while its air-conditioning system features a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) that emits less greenhouse gases.
The site of the expo park itself is a demonstration of green ways. Licang district used to be dotted with mining zones. Years of mining degraded land and vegetation.
In June 2010, the city began to refurbish the area by restoring disused quarries and planting trees. The area is now carpeted in flowers and other greenery.
"By turning this shabby mining zone into an ecological city, we hope that both the city and the public will be more aware of how to maintain the balance between people and nature," said Jiang Zehui, vice chair of the Committee on Population, Resources and Environment at the CPPCC, China's political consultant body.
The municipal government of Qingdao has promised that the expo park will be for urbanites after the event ends.
"The AIPH believes that the best cities in the future will be green ones, that means really green, not just green by using renewable energy or increasing recycling rates, the landscape will be green," Briercliffe said.