China hosts expo to heighten environmental awareness
May 28, 1999
KUNMING, China (CNN) -- Erosion, pollution, and deforestation are leaving tremendous damage across China. But as one quarter of the world's population strives for economic growth, the Chinese government wants the world to know it's aware of the related problems and is taking some steps to solve them.
Through the end of October, Kunming -- southern China's city of eternal spring -- is hosting a global horticulture exhibition that's designed to change the picture visitors have of China's environmental awareness.
"By hosting this expo, the Chinese government has set up a good conservation image in the international family," says Rose Niu of the Nature Conservancy.
Dozens of countries and all of China's provinces are showing off their botanical gems, from proper British gardens to the specialties of Southeast Asia.
There's grass-roots education at the expo, as well as information about this Chinese region's cultural diversity.
Visitors to the Yunnan Province are encouraged to share their thoughts about saving the Earth by writing messages on a huge scroll.
Organizers describe the expo as the final world's fair of this century. It's a blend of theme park, garden show and environmental seminar.
And with an investment equivalent to about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, the Chinese government hopes to convince visitors that the country is serious about protecting its natural resources.
But organizers say that for China to address the enormous environmental battles ahead, its going to take grassroots involvement and participation by every age and every level of society.
Correspondent Marsh Walton contributed to this report.
China acknowledges pollution problem, vows to clean up act
The National Environmental Protection Agency of China
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