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Major New Botanical Garden for China

21 April 2006

From Xinhua

Beijing Botanic Garden 
 Beijing is looking to the future

The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Beijing municipal government are planning to building a world-class botanical garden to showcase the country's rich plant diversity and research capabilities of its botanists.

At a meeting Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Beijing Botanical Garden, Han Xingguo, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Botany, announced that they have received approval to build the national botanical garden which will be combined with the existing Beijing Botanical Garden.

The Beijing Botanical Garden, originally built in 1956, has cultivated more than 6,000 valuable plant species and invested about 478 million yuan (59 million U.S. dollars) in landscaping in the past two decades.

Zhang Zuoshuang, curator of the Beijing Municipal Botanical Garden, said at the celebration event Tuesday that a world-class botanical garden should include both high artistic values and strong research capabilities.

At the end of 2003, Hou Renzhi and the other 10 CAS members submitted to the central authorities a recommendation to build a national botanical garden.

"We're happy to see a national garden, which will help more effectively to protect biological diversity and improve people's environmental awareness," Han said.

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