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Expo trees to green Gansu desert

TO help reduce carbon dioxide generated by Expo construction and operation, Shanghai will plant 1,000 mu (67 hectares) of trees in northwestern Gansu Province for carbon offsetting and help improve the desert there.

The forest will absorb 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years and its carbon index will be donated to Shanghai World Expo to help build a low-carbon event, city environment officials said today.

The trees will be planted at Huan Town in Gansu's Qingyang City. The greenland with total investment of 8.9 million yuan (US$1.31 million) will be finished in June next year, said officials from Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

The money comes from China Environmental Protection Foundation and public donations.

Qingyang City is in eastern Gansu. Huan Town borders two deserts, suffering serious desertification and a harsh climate. Its personal coverage of water resource is less than one-fourth the national average. And 63 percent of its water is floodwater and 34 percent is salty and bitter, unfit for drinking and irrigation.

The town has meager forest resources. The forest coverage is only 5.8 percent, far lower than the 25 percent global level and its land is desertified seriously due to overfarming.

The lack of water is an obstacle impacting its economic development and people's life quality, local officials said.

To help solve the problem, Shanghai will introduce collection of rainwater and projects to purify brackish water in Huan Town to regenerate its natural ecology.

Local environmental officials said in May that the Expo will realize 60 to 70 percent of carbon offsetting before the event ends on October 31 and reach carbon equilibrium in four to five years afterward through low-carbon technologies and greenland construction.

The Expo designs, pavilion construction and zone operations are all in line with the low-carbon environmental protection concept.

Advanced technologies for energy saving, and environmental and ecological protection such as solar energy, LED (light emitting diode) lighting, ground source heat pumps, roof rainwater harvesting, river water cooling, advanced garbage collection and water saving irrigation have been used in the Expo.


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