Middlesbrough has been named a ‘Tree City of the World' in recognition of its commitment to urban forestry.
Tree Cities of the World aims to create more green spaces in urban areas by recognising the cities that do it well.
The initiative was founded by The Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to recognise cities around the globe that have committed to growing and maintaining their urban forest.
Planting more trees is the quickest and easiest way to improve a city's tree canopy and invest in a brighter future.
Middlesbrough - whose Mayor Andy Preston has pledged to plant more than 10,000 trees - now joins a network of like-minded cities which recognise the importance of trees in building healthy, resilient and happy cities.
The town has earned the prestigious accolade in the Foundation's second year of the programme.
Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe said: "We applaud all of the cities that have earned Tree Cities of the World designation.
"They are leaders when it comes to planning and managing their urban forests.
"Many of the cities being recognised have gone above and beyond to use trees as part of their green infrastructure.
"This distinction is a celebration of their creativity and sustainability in creating healthier urban spaces."
Cities joining Tree Cities of the World show their willingness to be a sustainability and urban forestry leader.
Planting trees in a metropolitan area comes with a myriad of benefits beyond the recognition of this programme. Increasing the number of trees in a community can help reduce costs for energy, storm water management, and erosion control.
The programme provides a network of like-minded city leaders in urban forestry to celebrate and share best practices to cultivate greenery in the community.
To join Tree Cities of the World, Middlesbrough has pledged its commitment by meeting five ‘programme standards' that demonstrate its dedication and determination towards planting and conserving trees for a greener future.
Welcoming the announcement, Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "This is a fantastic endorsement of Middlesbrough's commitment to planting new trees and doing everything we can to protect our precious environment.
"We've been giving away thousands of young trees to be planted right across the town, and they will act as the lungs of the town by absorbing CO2.
"They're also vital for enhancing existing green areas and helping to bring back lost open space.
"This accolade will simply make us more determined than ever to keep up the momentum."
For more information visit the Tree Cities of the World website.