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China Plants 5.23 Mln Hectares of Trees in 2006

China planted 5.23 million hectares of trees in 2006, bringing the country's forest acreage to 175 million hectares, said sources with the State Forestry Administration (SFA) on Sunday.
Last year, 375,200 hectares of trees were planted to help improve the environment in Beijing and Tianjin by protecting the two cities from sandstorms.
The country's forest coverage increased to 18.21 percent last year from 12 percent in 1981 when the top legislative body, the National People's Congress (NPC), passed a resolution calling for nationwide voluntary tree planting.
In urban areas, the forest coverage reached 32.54 percent last year, while public green areas had increased to 7.89 square meters per capita from 7.39 square meters in 2005.
In 2010, the forest coverage will reach 20 percent in China and 30 percent in 70 percent of its cities, said SFA spokesman Cao Qingyao.

(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2007)

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