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Satellites to help Beijing expose fake afforestation

BEIJING, Aug. 21 — Beijing's afforestation watchdog has said it will turn to satellite monitoring to expose fake green drives in the city and prevent the misuse of plantation funds, local media reported Tuesday.

"To strengthen the supervision of our forest land management cost, we are planning to use five satellites over Beijing to monitor forest land," Deng Naiping, head of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry, was quoted as saying by The Beijing News.

Deng, who was speaking at a conference of the city's forestry officials on Monday, said satellite monitoring will help expose embezzlement of plantation management funds.

He said there have been reports of forestry officials in other cities making false claims of the plantation funds.

"With the help of the five satellites up there, it will be quite easy to tell whether and where the trees have been planted," Deng said.

The official added that his bureau is in talks with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources, which has been using satellites to monitor Beijing's illegal land use since 2006, over the proposals.

He also said Beijing will take notes from Singapore, which is keeping records of every piece of its forest land.

Large-scale misuse of public money in the name of afforestation is not uncommon in China, where media have reported cases of county officials having mountains painted green to meet afforestation requirements. (PNA/Xinhua)

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