Naming rights of treasure trees auctioned in Shanghai
( 2003-10-22 21:12) (Xinhua)
The naming rights of 50 valuable ancient trees in this east China metropolis were put under the hammer Tuesday, raking in a total of 1.386 million yuan (about 168, 000 US dollars).
Successful bidders may title the valuable trees with corporate or individual names and use the trees in trademark designs or for other commercial uses for up to three years, according to a source with the Shanghai Municipal Afforestation Committee (SMAC), organizer of the auction.
The one-year naming rights of 31 chinar trees in Jing'an Park was sold for 255,000 yuan (30,800 US dollars) after fierce competition, far above the upset price of 90,000 yuan (10,900 US dollars).
The city's only Yulan (Mongolian Heptapeta) tree, located in the former residence of the late Chinese leader Chen Yun, was sold for three years at the price of 110,000 yuan (13,300 US dollars).
The three-year naming rights of a 1,200-year-old gingko in Anting town in Jiading district, also dubbed the "tree king of Shanghai", was knocked down for 400,000 yuan (48,400 US dollars).
All these 50 trees are located in popular sites or frequently visited places and it is the first time that the naming rights of treasure trees were sold in Shanghai.
According to Guan Qunfei, a senior SMAC official, the auction aims to enhance public awareness of protecting century-old trees and help ease the financial shortage in protection-related works.
Income collected in the auction will be used to improve the habitat of local ancient trees. The Shanghai International Commodity Co., the auctioneer, also donated its commission to protect trees.
Zhang Xinguo, vice-president of the Shanghai Greenbelt Group, which claimed 37 trees in the auction, said that the valuable ancient trees are green antiques and should be protected meticulously.
At present, Shanghai now has a total of 1,451 registered treasure trees, with one for every 10,000 local residents. The average maintenance costs per tree amount to approximately 1,500 yuan (182 US dollars) annually.
In 2002, Shanghai released a statute on protecting treasure trees, stipulating that the protection of ancient trees in public places be financed by local governments.
Chen Min, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Afforestation Bureau, indicated that similar auctions are expected to be held in the future and 20 percent of the auction income will be spent on establishing a special fund for protecting the ancient trees.
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