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China marks International Day of Forests

Updated: Mar 22,2018 9:06 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese forestry authorities on March 21 hosted tree-planting activities for the International Day of Forests, which carries the theme of “Forests and Sustainable Cities” this year.

More than 200 people, including some from overseas and international organizations, planted over 700 trees in a southwestern district of Beijing.

“This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us,” according to the United Nations, which created the day in 2012.

Starting in 2013, China has held celebrations every year, inviting organizations including the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environment Program and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to take part.

Last year, total area of new forests created in China stood at 7.4 million hectares, up about 8.5 percent from 2016. The growth was partly attributed to public participation in voluntary tree planting, according to the National Afforestation Committee.

In 2017, the committee approved internet-based tree planting pilots in Beijing, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Anhui and Shaanxi provinces to allow easy participation in the greening process based on information technology.

China has made afforestation as one of its most important environmental projects.

The country aims to expand its forest coverage ratio to more than 23 percent by 2020 to combat climate change and soil erosion, up from 21.7 percent in 2015.

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