April 22 marked the 49th World Earth Day and promotional activities on building forest cities were held in 18 urban centers across Guangdong Province such as Shenzhen. Chen Junguang, Director of the Department of Forestry of Guangdong, and Liu Qingsheng, Standing Committee member of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee and Executive Vice Mayor of Shenzhen, attended an event held in Shenzhen Talent Park, during which the “White Paper on Land Greening in Shenzhen” was issued.
Shenzhen issued the white paper, the first of its kind, at the event. The white paper showed that Shenzhen has worked to build a national forest city and a global city of flowers and pushed ahead with greening projects to improve the quality of forests, conserve biodiversity, and build specially themed parks and forest towns between 2016 and 2017. During this time, 45 million square meters of woods were cultivated, 25 flower-lined avenues were created as well as 75 flower streets and 153 street-side parks, while 120 parks were renovated. Vertical gardens were planted across 660,000 square meters and 1.1951 million people participated in tree planting activities. Surveys on wildlife resources were carried out and regulations on the Greening of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone were issued. The 1st International Forest City Conference, 1st cross-Strait, Hong Kong and Macau Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Forum and 19th International Botanical Congress were held. As of late 2017, Shenzhen had a forestry area of 79339.28 hectares, with a forest coverage rate of 40.04%. Forest reserves reached 3.2307 million cubic meters and an additional 36,267 hectares of green land was established for a greening rate of 39.2%. Across Shenzhen, 2,443 kilometers of green avenues were built and there are 942 parks in the city, making it the leading city in China in terms of the number of parks.
Local citizens such as Wang Shi, Feng Lun, Zhang Bigong and Wang Jian who made great contributions to the greening of Shenzhen, were appointed as “Shenzhen’s green ambassadors”.
According to the office overseeing Shenzhen’s greening, the city’s work in building a national forest city has entered the final stage and relevant staff are collecting information and accepting ecological projects, with the city having attained the standards in 40 indicators. According to the plan, the city will submit relevant information to the State Forestry and Grassland Administration by June 2018 and apply for acceptance. China will designate an expert panel to conduct acceptance checks between July and September.
Chen Junguang said that Shenzhen has been active in the reform and innovation of ecological conservation in recent years and established a model for investment, promotion, public participation, and a generating sense of worth. Liu Qingsheng said that efforts will be made to build Shenzhen into a model city where people live in harmony with nature to make a contribution to the building of national forest cities in the Pearl River Delta and a “Beautiful China.”