China's key forestry programs: Economic, social and ecological rationales

Claudio O. DELANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    In 1997 and 1998, China experienced a series of droughts and floods on its largest river basins, the Yellow and the Yangtze Rivers. These environmental disasters were blamed on the deforestation that had taken place in the two rivers' watersheds during the previous decades, and prompted the introduction of nation-wide forest conservation and reforestation programs. This paper reviews: 1) the six Key Forestry Programs (KFPs) undertaken, which together cover almost three million km2 and cost some CNY 900 billion; 2) the reasons for the government to start these programs. I argue that while in the late 1990s the government had the budget surplus to undertake these programs, the KFPs addressed a number of problems which were becoming increasingly important, including increasing inequality between urban and rural areas; growing downstream costs of upstream environmental degradation; excessive production of rice which was depressing farmers' incomes; and a growing scarcity of timber.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)281-299
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Global Environmental Issues
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

    User-Defined Keywords

    • China
    • Fast-growing and high-yielding timber plantation development program
    • GfG
    • Grain for green program
    • Key shelterbelt development programs
    • Natural forest protection program
    • NFPP
    • Reforestation programs
    • Sandification control program
    • Wildlife conservation and nature reserve development program


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