Wednesday Seminar

Seminar No.  988
 December 13, 2017 Time: 12:30 – 13:30 hrs. Room Srabua (109)

The Socio-Economic Effects of China’s Forest Restoration and Conservation Programs

By:  Conghe Song, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill


China’s economy had witnessed double digit growth following the adoption of open and reform policy in the 1980-90s. However, China’s natural environment did not improve with the economy. In fact, China’s eco-environmental conditions went in the opposite direction with the economy during these periods, leading to the back-to-back devastating natural disasters in the later 1990s. As a result, the Chinese government implemented a series of forest restoration and conservation programs to improve the natural environment. The Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP) and the Ecological Welfare Forest Program (EWFP) are among the two major reforestation and conservation programs. CCFP program is the largest reforestation program to date in the world, involving 32 million households and 120 million people in 25 of the 31 provinces in China. China’s forest cover increased 3% as a result. EWFP is a program that preserves natural forests that provide essential ecosystem services. Both CCFP and EWFP are essentially payment for ecosystem services program. Despite nearly two decades of implementation, the programs’ socio-economic as well as its ecological effects are poorly understood. In this talk, I will present the recent findings from a US-China collaborative project studying the impacts of CCFP on the dynamics of the coupled natural and human systems in China. I will focus on the socio-economic effects of the programs in this talk. Riding the tide of overall economic growth in China, both CCFP and EWFP have been successful for converting cropland to forests and preserving the natural forest land, and have exerted profound impacts on rural residents’ livelihoods.

Moderator: Associate Professo Dr. Yothin Sawangdee