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Research Report

Rehabilitation of Degraded Forests to Improve Livelihoods of Poor Farmers in South China

Editor Liu Dachang
Zhu Zhaohua
Cai Mantang
Liu Dachang
John Turnbull
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2003
Pages: 103
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. vi-vi)
    David Kaimowitz

    Degradation of forests and forest lands is a problem in many parts of the world and is particularly serious in south China where 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas. Many natural disasters, such as catastrophic flooding in the Yangtze River basin, have been attributed to deforestation and there is real poverty in areas that have severe soil erosion and degraded forests. Forest policy reforms in the last 20 years have enabled rural households to generate income from forests, to own the trees they have planted, and have offered new opportunities to manage forests sustainably. Rehabilitation of...

  2. (pp. 1-28)
    Cai Mantang, Liu Dachang and J.W. Turnbull

    Deforestation in the tropics is high with an annual loss of 14.2 million ha converted to other land uses (FAO 2001). Deforestation and forest degradation are closely linked and are sometimes referred to as ‘forest decline’ (Contreras-Hermosilla 2000) which can be taken to include losses of forest productivity in terms of wood and non-wood products and environmental services. It directly threatens the livelihoods of millions of forest-dependent people.

    The underlying causes of forest decline include: market failures, mistaken policy interventions, governance weaknesses, and broader socioeconomic and political causes such as population growth and distribution of economic and political power (Kaimowitz...

  3. (pp. 29-43)
    Lai Yongqi, Liao Shengxi, Liu Dachang, Liu Jun, Su Jianrong and Zhang Yanping

    The dry and hot valley climatic type occurs mainly in the southwest provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangxi. In Yunnan, this climatic type covers 13 000 km², between latitudes 22.5°-28.0° N, and makes up 3.4% of the area of the province (Yang 1992). As the name suggests, it is a hot, dry climate providing harsh growing conditions for plants and the aridity is a critical constraint to tree planting and plantation establishment.

    Little forest vegetation remains in areas with these climatic conditions. Forest land is often seriously degraded, has had its vegetation cover reduced to sparse shrubs or even bare...

  4. (pp. 45-63)
    Liu Dachang, Weng Qijie, Zeng Jie, Zheng Haishui and Zhou Zaizhi

    Evergreen broadleaf forest is typical vegetation in China’s extensive subtropical zone in most hilly and mountainous areas to the south of the Yangtze River. The majority of these forests are secondary forests and most have been degraded to a greater or lesser extent. Only a few primary natural forests exist in isolated locations (Ministry of Forestry 1996).

    Degraded evergreen broadleaf forest is characterised by a reduced number of tree species and much lower biomass than normal forest. In the forest there is a loss of biodiversity and off-site effects of forest degradation include increased flooding, lower water quality and siltation...

  5. (pp. 65-80)
    Li Tiehua, Liu Dachang, Xiang Wenhua, Xu Guozheng and Zeng Guangzhen

    Huitong County, Hunan, is in the subtropical climatic zone and its primary vegetation is evergreen broadleaf forest. Extensive Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantations have been developed since the first cultivation of this species in the county in 1368, and especially during the last 50 years they have replaced evergreen broadleaf forest. As a result, now Chinese fir plantations cover 22% of the land area and evergreen broadleaf forests 18% (Huitong County Forestry Bureau 1993a). Moreover, forests in Huitong, and in Hunan province and beyond are degraded with less standing timber volume, reduced species diversity and declining soil fertility. Forest degradation...

  6. (pp. 81-97)
    Li Minghua, Liu Dachang, Shen Yueqin, Wang Anguo, Wei Xinliang, Yu Shuquan and Zhou Guomo

    Zhejiang province is in the subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest zone. Due to excessive human intervention, however, most of evergreen broadleaf forest has now disappeared and has been replaced by secondary natural Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) forest and man-made plantations of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata), bamboo, tea and other cash tree crops (NWFPs). Remaining evergreen broadleaf forest is secondary in origin.

    A significant proportion of forests, both timber and NWFPs, in the region is degraded or seriously degraded. Standing timber volume and quality has decreased and biodiversity is diminished. Local rural communities and other forest-dependent people are able to obtain less...