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Bustling Guangzhou's greenery still growing
Latest Updated at 2008-December-26 10:49:40

The provincial capital of Guangdong has made significant progress in urban forestation as it developed its vibrant and now-renowned economy.

"Guangzhou, as a business hub in the south, has taken the lead in urban forestation and ecological enhancement on the mainland thanks to years of efforts made by the provincial government," said Zhu Xiaodan, Party secretary of Guangzhou.

Zhu said Guangzhou paid special attention to planting urban forests while develop its industry and infrastructure in the past three decades.

Guangzhou has achieved remarkable success in economic development over the past years, but even as one of the country's important industrial bases, the city has not sacrificed its environment, Zhu said.

Guangzhou's gross domestic product has increased 45 times from 4.31 billion yuan in 1978 to 710.92 billion yuan in 2007. And the city's per capita GDP has also grown from 907 yuan three decades ago to last year's 71,808 yuan.

Guangzhou has ranked third among all China's cities in economic strength for 18 consecutive years.

Despite the great economic achievement, Guangzhou's environment is still well preserved.

According to figures released by the city's forestry department, Guangzhou's forest coverage has reached more than 50 percent while its urban rate hit 37.14 percent.

The city's average per capita public greenery is 12.62 sq m, top in the province.

The municipal government has protected the environment and built the city into a place suitable for both living and business while its industries developed, Zhu said.

He called for more tree planting in urban areas to help improve the province's air, water and soil quality in the coming years.

Due to its achievements in urban forest management, Guangzhou has been granted the status of a national forest city.

Abdul'ahat Abdulrixit, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, presented a plaque honoring the city to Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangning last month.

To qualify for the forest status, a city must have at least 25 percent green coverage and a minimum of 5 sq m of green area per capita.

Additional wildlife has also returned to Guangzhou's urban areas.

Trees are the biggest producer of ecological benefits, so expanding urban forests is an effective way to curb pollution, noise, dust and the heat island effect.

In addition to releasing oxygen, Jia said 32,000 hectares of forest can absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent of the amount discharged by a 200,0000 kW thermal power plant, while 1,000 hectares can absorb the CO2 discharged in a year by a Boeing-777 aircraft.

Editor: Yan

By: Cai Cai Source: China Daily Website
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