Beijing has been awarded the title of "National Forest City" by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the administration said on Friday.
Thanks to the city's unswerving greening efforts, its forest coverage rate has increased from 38.6 percent in 2012 to the current 44.8 percent, Cheng Jianhua, deputy secretary general of Beijing Municipal People's Government, told a press conference.
The city boasts 2,088 species of vascular plants and 608 species of terrestrial vertebrates, making it one of the most biodiverse metropolises, Cheng said.
"Winning the title is a full affirmation of Beijing's persistent adherence to green development," he said.
Cheng added that the city will continue to expand ecological space, implement land greening programs, and improve its ecosystem stability, sustainability, and diversity.
The National Forest City campaign was launched in 2004 to improve the urban environment. So far, 219 cities across the country have been granted the title.
"The campaign has become an effective way to improve the ecological well-being of the people and an important platform to popularize ecological knowledge," said Xu Jide, an official with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.