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BEIJING, March 11´╝îXinhua - Forest coverage in Beijing is 41 percent by the end of last year, authorities said ahead of China's Tree Planting Day, which is on Thursday.

According to the Beijing Greening Committee, a total of 197 million trees have been planted in the capital city following a city resolution on tree planting in 1981. Nearly 88 percent of those trees have survived.

Over the past 34 years, more than 86 million people have been involved in compulsory tree planting campaigns.

By the end of 2014, nearly 47.4 percent of Beijing was covered by plants, with public green space per capita reaching 15.9 square meters, it said.

Beijing has earmarked 25 locations for tree planting this year, covering more than 2,200 mu (about 1467 hectares), and 865,000 trees will be available for adoption.

Beijing residents choose to plant trees to celebrate occasions such as wedding anniversaries, birthdays and university enrollment, said a spokesperson with Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry.

Forestation over the years has helped reduce sand storms in Beijing, which is battered by strong wind and sand. The city is also under pressure to improve its air quality.

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