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China: Sustainable Forest Management and Financing


The objective of this activity is to improve the knowledge of the Chinese government on sustainable forest management so that China‚Äôs Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) can be achieved.


Forests rose to prominence in the 2015 Paris Agreement and in many countries‚Äô policies on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), including China‚Äôs. Since 2015, the Chinese Government has included in its NDC a commitment to increase its forest stock volume by an estimated 4.5 billion cubic meters by 2030, compared to the 2005 level, and to enhance mechanisms and capacities to reduce climate change risks in forest management. However, China‚Äôs efforts are hampered by a number of challenges, including poor forest quality, low-production plantations with fragile forest ecosystems, unsustainable financing, and weak coordination between sectors. China‚Äôs NDC, therefore, presents an opportunity for the Chinese Government to shift focus from measures that promote bigger acreage to, instead, improve forest quality and enhance the benefits and poverty-reduction that forests bring to forest-dependent populations. However, in order to achieve the goals of China‚Äôs NDC, the Chinese Government must use a different approach in planning and implementation than what was done before.


This activity will review, assess and disseminate best practices from other forestry projects in order to extract replicable forest management models and financing mechanisms to inform China’s efforts. Recommendations will be made to the Chinese government regarding technical models, long-term financing mechanisms, multi-sector coordination for landscape management, and public and private partnerships for forest management. This effort aims to enhance the benefits of forests, including carbon sequestration capacity and tolerance to natural disasters, such as extreme climate, fire, and pest attacks. Specifically, this activity will provide analysis to the following:

  • Close-to-nature forestry management

  • Forest carbon financing

  • Key government ecological afforestation and production operations

  • Technical improvement and investment effectiveness of government programs

  • Financing regimes


This activity is ongoing. The outcomes of this activity have been mainly achieved.

The study reports relevant to various key areas have been drafted and a synthesis report is in the late stage of preparation. This identifies the challenges of forest management in China, assesses the lessons learned from domestic and international organization financed forestry programs, and recommends a pathway toward the sustainable forest management. It also includes recommendations on policy and forest management regimes that need to be further improved to enable the scale up of improved forest management practice. It is recommended (with models provided) that traditional monoculture should be transferred to species mixed multifunction plantations with diversified species and stand structure, which would improve forest quality and functions with balance of ecological, economic and social benefits; non-public sector should be incentivized in investing in forest  management with the participation oriented payment of ecological service (PES) being taken as an alternate for poverty alleviation; and enabling conditions should be further improved such as further forest carbon trade marketing scheme development  to promote sustainable forest financing and sustainability.  

The dissemination of the knowledge and innovative forest management practice from this ASA on sustainable forest management and financing will help Chinese government achieving its committed Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs). The case studies provided strong evidence that the transfer of traditional monoculture plantation management to diversified species and structure forests will improve forest quality, stand growth and resilience, resulting the increase forest multifunction including carbon sequestration capacity, which will contribute to the achievement of forest NDC committed by the Chinese government. 

The knowledge generated from the ASA has also provided inputs to an IBRD forestry PforR operation in the Yangtze region of China, which is under preparation and will be present to the Board for approval around August 2019. 

Three WB-SFGA project meetings/workshops were held in Beijing for the review of the analytic work and drafted reports relevant to the lessons learned from the Bank financed projects, Sino-German project and Government programs, with participants from the lines of departments of SFGA, Forestry Academy of China, and Forestry Design and Inventory Institutions and the Bank, to seek recommendations on the ASA work.  

Knowledge generated from this activity has been taken into consideration in developing China's long-term National Forest Management Planning (NFMP), which promotes the mixed species and multifunction forest management. 

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Last Updated : 06-05-2019