Underlining the importance of greening the capital city for its modernization, Beijing mayor Wang Qishan called for more efforts in this direction on Monday.
The present greening campaign is an integral part of the city's modernization and plays a crucial role in the harmonious development of population, resources and environment, Wang told a meeting to review last year's work and draw up plans for the new year.
More efforts should be made to green and beautify the city in 2007, the decisive year for the preparation of the 2008 Olympic Games, the mayor added. He urged competent departments to concentrate on the city's key areas and the creation of a so-called "eco-screen" in Beijing's mountainous suburbs.
According to the Office of the Capital Afforestation Committee, in 2006 Beijing greened 12,000 hectares of land, planting over 27.84 million trees. By the end of 2006, the forest cover in the Beijing area stood at 51 percent, the urban tree cover at 42.5 percent, and urban green land per capita at 47 square meters.
(BOCOG February 27, 2007)