China's capital city of Beijing expects to add an area of 412 square kilometers to its green belts by 2008, with half of the city then covered by trees, lawns and gardens.
Work on Beijing's second green loop will be completed within six years, said Liu Qi, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, at a ceremony held in Beijing Saturday to mark the opening of the second phase in the city's greenification program.
Beijing, preparing for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, built its first loop of green belt around the downtown, covering an area of 102.3 square kilometers, in the past three years.
The second loop will include the remainder of the city and its suburbs which now have a total green area of 400 square kilometerswith a forest coverage of 25 percent.
This year a 2,000-hectare area will be greenified, Liu said.
On average, each Beijing resident enjoys 42 square meters of area covered by trees and lawn at present. Forest coverage here reaches 45.5 percent and the percentage in urban areas is 39 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2003)