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Research Report

Learning lessons from China’s forest rehabilitation efforts: National level review and special focus on Guangdong Province

Unna Chokkalingam
Zhou Zaizhi
Wang Chunfeng
Takeshi Toma
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2006
Pages: 174
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-6)
    Unna Chokkalingam, Wang Chunfeng and Zhou Zaizhi

    Forest cover is decreasing or very low in many tropical landscapes following decades of logging, fire and other human disturbances. At the same time, there are large and growing areas of degraded forest lands� that need to be rehabilitated to again provide forest goods and services and meet local livelihood needs. National, international, local and private agencies have invested in innumerable rehabilitation initiatives in the tropics. Some countries such as China and the Philippines started earlier than others. Some countries are winding up large programs and others are initiating them. The initiatives have differed in scale, objectives, costs, implementation strategies,...

  2. (pp. 7-68)
    Wang Chunfeng and Unna Chokkalingam

    China has a long history of forest degradation and rehabilitation¹. In 1949, the year the People’s Republic of China was founded, forests covered roughly 120 million ha or 12.5 percent of the national land area (MOF 1949-1993). At the time, deforestation and land degradation were largely the legacy of agricultural and pastoral expansion, over-cutting for construction and fuelwood and repeated wars (Shen 2003). Over the last 56 years, China has made continuous efforts to rehabilitate its degraded forest lands².

    Most activities have been carried out by governments at various levels. Since 1998, six key national programs have steered China’s forestry...

  3. (pp. 69-134)
    Zhou Zaizhi and Unna Chokkalingam

    Guangdong Province, in southern China, had 6.67 million ha of degraded forested land¹ in 1935 (GFB 1994). In 1949, forests² covered only 3.36 million ha, or 18.7 percent of the province, while degraded forest land equalled 7.67 million ha. Heavy logging, use for farming, war and forest fire led to severe forest destruction and degradation. Since 1949, the province has made continuous efforts to rehabilitate³ its degraded areas, driven by national and regional policy initiatives, concerns over deteriorating environmental conditions and timber shortages. The extent and nature of these rehabilitation efforts have changed over time in response to political changes,...

  4. (pp. 135-148)
    Zhou Zaizhi and Unna Chokkalingam

    A workshop, “Review of forest rehabilitation¹ initiatives in Guangdong: lessons from the past”, was held at the Research Institute of Tropical Forestry (RITF), Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou, on 27 May 2004. This workshop was conducted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor and RITF as part of a CIFOR regional research project to discover lessons from past successes and failures of forest rehabilitation. It provided a platform for different stakeholders involved in rehabilitating degraded forest lands² in Guangdong to share their experiences and perspectives on key problems and make recommendations to address them.

    There were 30 participants...

  5. (pp. 149-160)
    Unna Chokkalingam, Zhou Zaizhi and Wang Chunfeng

    How have China and in particular Guangdong Province fared in their forest rehabilitation¹ activities and what lessons do they offer for guiding future efforts? Both Guangdong Province and China as a whole have witnessed substantial increases in forest cover² since the 1980s (five and 38 million ha respectively), mostly through rehabilitation of degraded forest land³. But a sizeable proportion of the forests regenerated have poor growth and stocking, and many sites are highly susceptible to pest, disease, frost and fire damage. This is due to limited species-site matching, particularly of exotic species, and the establishment of vast monoculture landscapes of...