Skip to main content

A New Opportunity to Recover Native Forests in China

Author(s): Hua, Fangyuan; Xu, Jianchu; Wilcove, David S.

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: Despite unprecedented efforts at reforestation in recent decades, China’s native forests continue to be displaced by plantations. Collective forest land (CFL)— land owned by rural households/communities—accounts for 60% of China’s total forest land and harbors nearly half of its remaining native forests. However, China’s existing policy structure for native forests suffers from considerable deficiencies with regard to CFL, most notably because policies provide no mechanism for restoring native forests on CFL. Rectifying these deficiencies requires that China’s management approach toward CFL forests recognize the value of forests, especially native forests, for things other than tree crop production. In particular, policies must account for biodiversity in assessing the ecological conditions and values of forests and must provide incentives to protect and restore native forests. An opportunity has arisen to incentivize native forest recovery on CFL through the newly announced “mechanism of compensation for ecological protection” (MCEP), introduced in May 2016 and on track to become China’s umbrella policy for ecosystem protection. Currently, however, MCEP does not explicitly target CFL, and it contains no incentives for restoring native forests. Adding these elements to MCEP could herald a renaissance for China’s diminishing native forests and associated biodiversity. The Chinese government should not let this opportunity slip away.
Publication Date: Mar-2018
Electronic Publication Date: 3-Aug-2017
Citation: Hua, Fangyuan, Xu, Jianchu, Wilcove, David S. (2018). A New Opportunity to Recover Native Forests in China. Conservation Letters, 11 (2), e12396 - e12396. doi:10.1111/conl.12396
DOI: doi:10.1111/conl.12396
ISSN: 1755-263X
Pages: e12396 - e12396
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Conservation Letters
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.