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More Green Area in Chinese Cities
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Public greenery areas owned by each Chinese citizens increased by 0.5 square meter, compared with 7.39 square meters in 2005, the Office of the National Greenery Committee said recently in its annual report on the country's greenery status.

China's urban greenery coverage rate has reached 32.54 percent, 0.98 percentage point higher than the previous.

To develop a more healthy and comfortable environment, many Chinese cities have included the building of greenery areas into their infrastructure plans. They also put emphasis on making garden cities, Cao Qingyao, the spokesman of the National Forestry Bureau, said yesterday at a regular National Forestry Bureau press conference.

The report also said only 55 percent of Chinese citizens who are obliged to plant trees have carried out their duties in 2006. Although the rate has risen by 10 percentage points since 2005, nearly half of the obliged people did not plant trees last year.

A Chinese regulation stipulates that citizens over 11 years old, except the elderly, disabled and the weak, have the obligation to plant three to five trees per year. The regulation, passed in 1981, doesn't specify what punishment citizens face if they fail to abide by it.

To improve the low rate, China is planning to work out a tree planting regulation, said Zhu Lieke, the deputy chief of the National Forestry Bureau.

The report also said the gross output value of forestry in 2006 has surpassed 900 billion yuan (US$116.28 billion), 173.1 billion yuan more than that in 2005.

(Shanghai Daily March 13, 2007)

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