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The implications of new forest tenure reforms and forestry property markets for sustainable forest management and forest certification in China

The implications of new forest tenure reforms and forestry property markets for sustainable forest management and forest certification in China

Journal of Environmental Management 129: 206-215

This study examines issues existing in the southern collective forests in China, particularly prior to the implementation of new forest tenure reforms, such as continued illegal logging and timber theft, inadequate availability of finance and inconsistent forest-related policies. Such problems are believed to be hindering the adoption of sustainable forest management (SFM) and forest certification by forest farmers in China. Two strategies were introduced by the Chinese government with the purpose of addressing these issues, namely forest tenure reforms and their associated supporting mechanism, forestry property markets. Through two case studies in southern China, we investigated the effectiveness of the two strategies as well as their implications for the adoption of SFM and forest certification. The two cases were Yong'an in Fujian province and Tonggu in Jiangxi province. Personal interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with small-scale forest farmers who had already benefited from the two strategies as well as market officers working for the two selected forestry property markets. The study identified eight issues constraining the potential adoption of SFM and certification in China, including limited finance, poorly developed infrastructure and transport systems, insecure forest tenures, inconsistent forest policies, low levels of awareness, illegal forest management practices, lack of local cooperative organizations, and inadequate knowledge and technical transfer. We found that the new forest tenure reforms and forestry property markets had generally fulfilled their original objectives and had the capacity to assist in addressing many of the issues facing forests prior to the reforms.

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Accession: 056372718

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PMID: 23948439

DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.07.007

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