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|Friday, December 15, 2000, updated at 09:13(GMT+8)|
Beijing Goes Green With Planting CampaignAround 50 per cent of Beijing will be covered with trees in the next five to 10 years to improve the environment, according to the forestry administration in the capital.
To reach the goal, the Beijing municipal government will plant thousands of trees in three major rural areas around the city.
In addition, trees will be planted in the Yanshan Mountains, in the northeast, and in the Taihang Mountains, in the northwest, as well as in key satellite towns around Beijing.
As part of the measure, 13,300 hectares of sandy wasteland and floodland in drainage areas along the Yongding, Chaobai and Dasha rivers will be planted with forests.
Kangzhuang village, in Yanqing county, and Nankou town, in Changping District, will also be targeted. These areas often suffer from sandstorms.
More than 25 per cent of the trees are expected to be planted on the plains to the south and east of the city and over 70 per cent in the mountains.
The satellite towns will look like garden towns with about half their areas covered with trees, amounting to about 15 square metres of greenery per person.
The move is intended to prevent sandstorms that have affected the city in recent years.
Beijing often suffers from sandstorms in spring from Hebei Province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
A storm in March this year was one of the most serious ever to have hit Beijing.
The municipal government realized the importance of protecting the city against sandstorms and, since then, it has introduced a series of measures to improve the environment.
Besides planting trees, the city is now also introducing clean-energy buses that are environmentally friendly. Vehicle exhaust standards have also been tightened.
Beijing, like other local authorities in China, now attach more importance to the environment.
These measures are consistent with the central government policy that puts environmental protection and sustainable development as one of key goals of the 10th Five-Year Plan (2000-05).
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