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The Socioeconomic Effects of China’s Forest Restoration and Conservation Programs

October 19, 2018 @ 3:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Conghe Song
Department of Geography
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
170 Fillmore, UB North Campus, Ellicott Complex

China’s economy witnessed double-digit growth following the adoption of the open and reform policy in the late 1970s. However, China’s natural environment did not improve with the economy. However, China’s eco-environmental conditions moved in the opposite direction from the economy for decades, leading to devastating natural disasters in the late 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 two of them. CCFP 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 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’ socioeconomic and ecological effects are not well understood. In this talk, I will present recent findings from a US-China collaborative project studying the impacts of CCFP on the dynamics of the coupled natural and human systems in Anhui, China. Riding the tide of overall economic growth in China, both CCFP and EWFP have been successful in converting and preserving land-use, and have exerted profound impacts on rural residents’ livelihoods. This talk will focus on the program effects on cropland abandonment, fuel wood use and rural out migration.

Cosponsored by the UB Confucius Institute, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis – Buffalo, Department of Geography, and UB Geography Distinguished Alumni Association

Details

Date:
October 19, 2018
Time:
3:15 pm - 5:00 pm