World Bank’s Research Department (Agricuture & Rural Development), under the auspices of the Department of Rural Forest Reform at the State Forestry Administration in China.
In an effort to combine economic and ecological benefits, China’s forest tenure reforms aimed to provide farmers with stronger incentives to manage and protect forest lands, invest in them, and allow their transfer to better uses. To do so, they aimed to establish individual management on some 100 million hectares of forest which provides a livelihood for more than 400 million individuals. Given their size and far-reaching nature, these reforms have often been described as China’s ‘third revolution’ after collectivization and adoption of the household responsibility system. Indeed, a number of countries have shown great interest in emulating China’s experience, arguably one of the largest reforms in this respect globally.
A careful evaluation of the decade-old reforms could hold valuable lessons for China’s efforts to fine-tune its legal and regulatory environment to maximize potential gains from these reforms, and to guide other countries that want to improve the way in which state forests are managed.
PROFOR is supporting the analysis of information collected in two large-scale surveys conducted in 2006-2007 and 2011. It is expected to provide up-to-date and policy relevant analysis of key aspects of China’s forest tenure reform, in particular (i) the impact of reforms on households’ livelihood strategies and investments ; (ii) the extent to which reforms allowed emergence of transparent and well-functioning markets for forest land to attain efficiently sized operations rather than excessive fragmentation or concentration; (iii) the nature and impact of collective action at the village level to effectively manage forests and provide local public goods; and (iv) determinants of households’ labor allocation and the extent to which local labor and credit markets function and allow households in forest-dependent villages to make the best use of their endowments.
This activity is ongoing. Results from the analysis will be available on this website and disseminated via working papers, workshop and conference presentations, and a seminar with policy makers in Beijing. You can follow us on twitter or join our mailing list for regular updates.