A set of regulations to protect trees and encourage tree planting were passed at the eighth session of the Standing Committee of the Sixth Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress on Wednesday.
A document on the provisions related to the city’s green spaces will be enacted starting from October 1. Violators who cut down old trees will receive huge fines.
Those who trim old and precious trees without permission will be fined 2,000 yuan (US$304) for every tree and the fine for destroying and cutting down old and rare trees can be up to 500,000 yuan. These old and precious trees include those aged over 100, those having historical and research value, or those belonging to a rare tree species.
The regulations also clarified government department duties in building a green city. The department responsible for making Shenzhen greener are required to publish a white paper on the city’s situation every two years and publish information about the basic situation, the city’s related resources, achievements and future plans.
The proportion of land to be covered by plants is also set by the provisions. The green coverage rate of new housing estates is required to be more than 30 percent of the whole construction area and the rate for renovated or reconstructed residential estates no less than 25 percent.
New parks covering an area less than 100,000 square meters need to have green land representing more than 70 percent and for lager parks the rate is more than 75 percent.
The measurements also require projects, including main urban roads spanning over 1,000 meters, or covering over 20,000 square meters near ecological protection areas, and green projects that cover over 100,000 square meters. Those projects should solicit public opinion for at least 15 days before moving forward.
Other public construction such as footbridges and sanitation facilities also need to follow the standards and instructions of the greening provisions.
The regulations encourage organizations and individuals to claim and plant trees to enlarge the greening area in Shenzhen. The administrative departments are responsible for hiring reputable celebrities and residents to be environmental ambassadors.