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November 27, 2010

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Shanghai to get more forests and green spaces

SHANGHAI residents can expect to see more green spaces and forest areas over the next five years, local greenery authorities said yesterday.

The city, which has no natural forests, plans to raise its tree coverage from 12 to 15 percent by 2015, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said.

This will be achieved through continuing to plant trees along the coast and creating forest parks.

There will also be an increase in Shanghai's green areas. Xia Yingbiao, deputy director of the bureau, said the plan aims to benefit the city's 20 million residents through creating a more balanced eco-system. "Each person will have a 13.5-square-meter area of green space in 2015, up from 13 square meters now," he said.

Meanwhile, the city will increase garbage sorting and recycling. As a result, the quantity of domestic garbage per person should decrease by 25 percent in five years.

Some 95 percent of that will be treated to ensure it does not pollute - up from the current 85 percent, according to Xia.

By 2015, the city will also be able to collect all medical and other dangerous waste and dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner, according to Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

He also said that the city should have excellent or good air quality for about 328 days a year from 2011 to 2015.

This goal may have been already achieved this year due to strict controls on construction work and stubble burning during the six-month World Expo.

Zhang admitted that the resumption of construction work and stubble burning partly explained the poor air quality this month - eight days so far have been recorded as moderately-polluted, the fourth in a five-level scale.

Shanghai will also build or revamp 19 sewage treatment plants in rural districts by 2015, said Liu Xiaotao, deputy director of the Shanghai Water Affairs Bureau.


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