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"Green Olympics" to Be Realized
    2008-07-04 10:36:25     CRIENGLISH.com

Beijing is a city with serious water scarcity. But municipal officials say the city has taken a series of measures to meet the gigantic water consumption during the coming Olympics. Our reporter Li Dong has the details.

Reporter: Water plays an important part in realizing a "Green Olympics". Beijing is a city with very limited water resources. Years of fast economic growth have deteriorated the water environment around the city and posed big threat to domestic water reserve.

In 2001, the year when Beijing won the bid for 2008 Olympics, the water resource per capita in Beijing was only 400 cubic meters. Deputy Director of Beijing Water Authority Bi Xiaogang introduced that the water environment has been greatly improved.

"Improving the livelihood of people living in the mountainous areas around Beijing is the key. Beijing has 10 thousand square kilometers of mountainous area, which occupies 61% of the total area. Finding eco-friendly economic growth methods for residents in these areas can reduce the harm brought by economic growth that are not so eco-friendly."

Besides protecting the water resources, other measures have been taken to provide qualified water environment for the Olympics in the past 7 years, including popularizing water saving concepts, efficiently use recycled water for agriculture and forestry and speeding up construction of wastewater treatment plants.

It's hard to imagine a "Green Olympics" without the color of green. The Beijing Municipal Government promised to realize a forest coverage rate of 50% when Beijing won the 2008 Olympic bid.

Wang Sumei, deputy director of Beijing Forestry and Gardening Administration, says this goal has been achieved.

"In 2000, the forest coverage rate in Beijing was 41.9 percent. The number rose to 51.6 percent by the end of 2007. The area of natural conservation occupies 8.2 percent of Beijing. The green belt can effectively reduce pollution and improve the environment."

By 2007, Beijing citizens had built and adopted 146 plots of green land with a total area of 357 hectares and planted more than 44,000 trees.

Also, a big Olympic Forest Park was built in the north part of the city.

The 680-hectare Olympic Forest Park located at the north fifth ring road is a milestone for building an ecological Beijing. The forest park not only can function as a sports venue for the Olympics but also improve the ecological environment of the city.

The park mainly offers natural landscape and part of it will be used to house indigenous plant species and birds.
Li Dong, CRI News.

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