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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Socio-economic and ecological impacts of China's forest sector policies

Aguilar, Francisco X.; Wen, Yali


This manuscript offers a synthesis of the studies compiled under the Special Issue ?Socio-economic and Ecological Impacts of China?s Forest Policies, Programs and Practices? and outlines areas where new research seems warranted. There is evidence that China?s policy interventions in its forest sector have improved national environmental and ecological conditions. Corresponding effects on localized socio-economic conditions are more nuanced pointing to partial or limited success of some restoration programs. More efficient policy design and implementation might be achieved via a mixed bottom-up/top-down approach to stakeholder engagement. For instance, better forest sector outcomes seem plausible by tailoring land practices to local socio-ecological conditions, taking into consideration additional tenure and regulatory reforms to reduce transaction costs, further engage local institutions, and attract new investments. The global clout of the Chinese forest sector creates an opportunity to extend environmentally-sound forest management and wood product manufacturing practices abroad reducing the risk of leakage of domestic conservation. Reduced barriers to trade could support transferring of knowledge and technology. Future research should generate new knowledge to better understand the prospective role of the Chinese forest sector in meeting the United Nations? Sustainable Development Goals and contributing to a carbon-neutral China by 2060. Future lines of research should consider, among others, long-term and distributional dimensions of the impacts of China?s forest sector policies.


Forests; China; Policy; Forest management; Institutions; Trade

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2021, volume: 127, article number: 102454
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics
Wen, Yali
Beijing Forestry University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG1 End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)