URUMQI, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The forested area in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has increased thanks to an afforestation campaign, local forestry authorities said.
The forest coverage rate of the region's oases scattered around the Tianshan Mountains has risen to nearly 28.5 percent from 24.8 percent during the past five years, according to the regional forestry department.
In 2017 alone, 4.5 million mu (300,000 hectares) of desertified land was restored and 3.2 million mu of trees were planted in the oases.
The local government has improved irrigation systems to raise the survival rate of the trees.
The forests on the periphery of the oases have helped rein in the desertification trend, according to the department.
Over the past three years, Xinjiang's forests have grown to 8 million hectares from 6.98 million hectares, according to the regional development and reform commission.