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July 04, 2011

Ginkgo fever in Chongqing, China

Ginkgo, camphorwood and osmanthus trees thickly line the streets and malls in Chongqing in China as part of a campaign to turn a 'hotpot' spot into a clean, healthy garden city. This new ecology-friendly approach can be credited to one man - Bo Xilai, the party secretary:
"We have been determined in our tree planting. Last year alone, we invested more than 10 billion yuan, a sum equivalent to what Chongqing had spent in the last 10 years. We will continue at this rate for the next 10 years, until we have succeeded in "planting a century of trees in a decade".
"You can never make a mistake in planting trees. When you improve the environment, people breathe in more oxygen, and they think better, and they'll be able to calculate and plan for future development better. It is a benign cycle that is very beneficial."

The greening of Chongqing is costly, and it has drawn criticism. Both Ginkgo and camphor needed to be brought in from neighboring Yunnan and even as far away as Shandong.

Cited from article in China Daily: read more here.
Another article about Ginkgo trees in Chongqing can be read in The Atlantic.

More info about Ginkgo trees at Jinfu mountain area near Chongqing on the
History-page on my website.
Although never officially upgraded to the national symbol, the Ginkgo tree is widely believed to be the national tree of China. In a national poll held in 2005, the Ginkgo won more than 1.7 million of the total 1.8 million votes.

photo: China Daily



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