Roundup: Beijing horticultural expo opens door to greener future, experts say

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BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition which concluded Wednesday has provided opportunities for mutual learning in environmental conservation and inspired people to build a greener future, experts have said.

Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, secretary-general of the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions, told Xinhua that with the theme of "Live Green, Live Better," the horticultural expo "has been a window into green living, sustainable development and improved quality of life."

"All those who came to the expo have experienced the beauty and role of plants and nature, and have seen for themselves the importance of protecting nature and living greener and healthier lives," he said.

"The Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition has been well designed to provide a comfortable and spectacular visitor experience whilst at the same time creating something that can be used post-expo," said Bernard Oosterom, president of the International Association of Horticultural Producers.

Noting that the Chinese government has prioritized environmental protection and adopted major steps to achieve the goal, Oosterom expressed his appreciation of China's position of making the environment a key factor in social development.

"It is impressive to see the high quality of the landscape design, the variety and the materials that are used," Judith van der Poel, a co-designer of the Dutch section at the expo, told Xinhua.

Van der Poel named Beijing as an example, where the government in recent years has been working on relocating wholesale markets to save space for more city parks and innovative industries. According to this plan, the city is expected to add about 66,700 hectares of forest and wetland and increase its forest coverage rate to 45 percent in five years.

Hosea Machuki, chief executive officer (CEO) of Kenya's Fresh Produce Exporters Association, and Jane Ngige, former CEO of the Kenya Horticultural Council, shared the idea that the expo provided a chance for Kenya to showcase its horticultural products. They also hope to take this opportunity to tap into the huge and promising Chinese market.

Cristobal Araya Nunez, agricultural engineer at Chile's Santo Tomas University, said the event has exhibited advanced agricultural science and technology, as well as innovative production methods.

It also indicated that China highlights environmental protection and the harmony between man and nature, he added.

Nadia Abdulrahman Al-Mudahka, research director of the Katara Cultural Village, a tourist attraction in Qatar's capital Doha, told Xinhua that the Beijing horticultural expo presents the epitome of an environmentally friendly society, which features greenness, culture, innovation, technology and diversity.

In an interview with Xinhua, Australian horticultural designer Carolyn Blackman said, "we feel honored to be asked to come and design for this prestigious event."

"The scale and the execution of that exhibit is just phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. The commitment that the government has to horticulture and what that can bring to people's lives is just inspiring," Blackman said, who designed the Australia Pavilion for the expo.

Covering an area of 503 hectares, the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition, which started on April 29, had drawn participants from 110 countries and international organizations, and received nearly 10 million visits. Enditem

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